Thoughtful reviews, the Boulder film scene

The Great Train Robbery

(review...)

" It’s been 84 years and I can still smell the fresh paint "
— Gloria Stuart, Titanic

MRQE Top Critic

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See also Long Live Film (in Boulder)

Thursday, August 16, 2007, Boulder, Colorado - As I write this, the newest theater in Boulder is still the Crossroads Commons 6. Tomorrow, though, that all changes with the opening of the Century Boulder.

As I recall, the Crossroads Commons opened in the mid-1980s. It started as a Mann theater, became a Colorado Cinema, and was most recently operated by Landmark theaters.

Originally slated to close last fall, the Crossroads Commons got a new lease on life. The promised movie theater at the new mall was delayed, and for a while, it seemed that the only in Boulder was going to be shown at our half-dozen series and festivals while we waited for the new theater to open.

Fortunately, Landmark was able to keep the six-plex open, and since this winter, they’ve been the only game in town.

Though many are quick to complain about the uncomfortable seats or the stained screens, I’ve grown fond of the theater. Perhaps knowing that its days were numbered softened me to its faults.

It’s been easier to overlook those faults, considering that the theater has been run by Landmark, which is very friendly to top-notch independent and foreign cinema. For example, they’ve been showing a nice little movie from Ireland called Once for about a month now.

But Landmark has also brought the best of mainstream cinema to town. Granted, with only six screens they haven’t been able to bring every mainstream movie to town, but somehow theyve managed to get the ones that discriminating moviegoers are interested in such as Ratatouille, The Boune Ultimatium, or The Simpsons Movie. And how many of us are really sorry that Boulder never showed I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry or Die Hard 4?

If you read the Daily Camera, you’ll see rumors of Landmark coming back to Boulder, but their corporate spokespersons are very tight-lipped. I hope they do come back to Boulder, because they’re my kind of theater.

Then again, maybe they tried harder — top-notch programming, real butter and Kernel Seasons for your popcorn, gourmet snacks — because they had to convince people to overlook the thinning seats and aging theater. Maybe the new theater, knowing it has the monopoly in town, will have less incentive to bring people in with nice touches.

Really, though, it’s up to us, the Boulder moviegoers, to demand better and support the good stuff when it comes around.

Through this weekend you can still thank Landmark. Rather than fight the crowds at the new theater (it’ll still be there next week) — you might go say farewell to the Crossroads.

Yes, for three days this weekend, and possibly for the last time ever, Boulder will be a two-movie-theater town.