Sunday, January 13, 2013

OAK STREET CINEMA: WHY DO ALL THE GOOD THEATERS GO AWAY?


We've been talking a lot about The Uptown Theater and its recent remodeling.  I was profoundly disappointed by it.  The reserved seating sucks, the balcony costs more, and the sound system is terrible.  When we saw The Master there on opening weekend we could only understand half of what was said.  The Master was PROBABLY one of the best movies I've seen this year, but I can only be fifty percent certain.  Shelley's probably going to give it another shot, but I won't be going back any time soon.

Anyway, thinking about The Uptown has made me reflect on great movie going experiences I've had.  The original Uptown was my favorite theater around, but there was once another theater that rivaled virtually any other for the quality of films and the variety of programming it would provide:  The Oak Street Cinema.  The greatest films in history were projected on their screen, and I saw some things there that I had never dreamed I would see in a theater.  It was worth the two hour drive home at midnight just to see the things they would show.

The last thing I saw there (with Shelley and Scooter Polanski) was a presentation in 2008 of What Is It? featuring its director and star Crispin Glover.  The film was difficult and the Q&A was angry and menacing, but it was the last in a long series of memorable film experiences I had there, and in some ways the most memorable.  In 2011 the Oak Street Cinema was torn down, and along with it went a very important chapter of Minnesota film history.  RIP Oak Street.


Here are some of the memorable films I saw at The Oak Street.  In my dreams Grind-Fu is this good.

Shyboy

Saw Dial M in 3D!

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