by Laurie Paolicelli
Go to the movies. Get a bag of popcorn. Share it with a pal or your partner. It feels like magic, and it is, isn’t it? Because even though it happens in the dark, without light a movie wouldn’t be possible. We have some wonderful theaters in the area and, as tempting as it is to sit on the couch working the remote, getting out of the house, especially on Valentine’s Day, is a much more romantic idea.
The Lumina Theater in Chapel Hill says it best:
“They’re given lots of names. Some people use flick. Others call it a show. And then there’s feature and film and, of course, motion picture. But in each case — without a doubt — we all know what they’re talking about. Movies. On a big screen. In the dark. With popcorn. Movies thrill us. They make us laugh and cry and jump right out of our seats. Their images saturate our lives as a shared dramatic backdrop connecting friends and neighbors and generations — be it a light saber or a hockey mask or a certain martini. Somehow movies allow both the uncommon to feel utterly common and for the commonplace to thrum with meaning and effortlessly roar to life.”
Because it’s all about the story. Viola and Leo, the Coen brothers, Spike Lee, they’re doing the same thing we’ve been doing since we huddled around a warm fire on a cold night five thousand years ago: we’re sharing our stories. The really great movies, though, they do more than entertain, they mark us. And when we walk out of the theater, that story becomes a part of the story of the rest of our lives.
So visit your favorite theater. Make a night of it. Get some chocolate. Because without you these opportunities for magic would cease to exist, and we would all miss it, very much.Go to the movies. Get a bag of popcorn. Share it with a pal or your partner. It feels like magic, and it is, isn’t it? Because even though it happens in the dark, without light a movie wouldn’t be possible. We have some wonderful theaters in the area and, as tempting as it is to sit on the couch working the remote, getting out of the house, especially on Valentine’s Day, is a much more romantic idea.
The Lumina Theater is a locally owned, independent movie theater in the heart of Chapel Hill’s Southern Village. Four movie screens, ease of parking, and the neighboring restaurants make the movie-going experience even more enjoyable. Al’s Burger Shack, Market and Moss, Rasa Malaysia, Market Street Grill, Weaver Street and more are steps away. Rocks + Acid + Wine Shop is the newest club to join Southern Village.
For shows, showtimes and other valuable info go here: www.thelumina.com
The Chelsea Theater
The Chelsea Theater is Orange County’s only nonprofit arthouse theater. For more than thirty years, the Chelsea has presented films that entertain, inspire, and engage. Repertory and specialty film series, guest speakers, and partnerships with university and community groups are some of the ways the Chelsea reaches out to enrich the movie-going experience.
Emily Kass, who is executive director, loves seeing the Chelsea busy again. “I have been with the theater since the first efforts to turn it into a nonprofit,” Kass said. “The Chelsea has a sense of community that I rarely see among movie theaters,” Kass said. “It’s a rarity.”
Fully renovated in 2021, the three-screen Chelsea’s intimate size with comfortable seating, new screens and sound system, upgraded air filtration, amenities, and easy parking make the Chelsea a top destination for film lovers. And there are many delicious restaurants nearby, including: Magone Italian Grill & Pizza, Oishi Japanese, Queen of Pho, Sage Vegetarian Café, China Wok, and frozen yogurt cafes. See full list here: https://restaurantguru.com/Timberlyne-Village-Chapel-Hill-ml
For shows, showtimes and other valuable info go here: www.thechelseatheater.org
Silverspot Cinema Chapel Hill 13
Featuring 13 theaters with over 1,200 stadium seats, this theater is located at University Place and offers an enhanced entertainment experience to make your visit perfect. Delight yourself before, during, and after the projection with the chef-inspired menu of freshly made foods. And to top it all off, you can choose from an assortment of craft beers, signature cocktails, and wines to pair with your movie.
Silverspot offers a wide array of cinematic viewing selections, which include Hollywood productions, handpicked selections of Independent and Foreign Films, Operas, Ballets, Concerts, Theater, Genre-Centric Film Series, and more.
There are many delicious restaurant options just a few doors away, including: Stoney River Steakhouse, Bar Taco, Hawkers, The Flying Biscuit Cafe, Alfredo’s Pizza Village, Trilogy and more. https://www.universityplacenc.com/directory/#Food-Specialty
For shows, showtimes and other valuable info go here: www.silverspot.net
Silverspot is also the home of Film Fest 919, one of the south’s preeminent film festivals. “Months before movies go on to earn Academy Award nominations, folks can usually see them in Chapel Hill,” says Randi Emmerman, Director of 919. The 2023 Film Festival details have not yet been finalized but keep your eye on their website to learn more. https://filmfest919.com
The Varsity Theatre has been a landmark of Chapel Hill and Franklin Street for over 50 years. Since the Sorrell building was built in 1927, it has always housed a movie theater, starting with the original Carolina Theater and then the Village Theater before becoming home to the Varsity. In recent years cosmetic improvements have been made. The landmark space is used for social gatherings and parties.
Now showing: http://www.varsityonfranklin.com/now-showing.html
123 East Franklin Street
Special Benefit Event
7th Annual New York Dog Film Festival 2022-23
Sunday, February 19, 202
Benefiting: Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary in Chapel Hill
Join Beautiful Together Animal Sanctuary on Sunday, February 19, 2023 at 2:15 pm on the Lumina patio to meet some of their rescue pets and have a chance to take one home. Bring a bag or can of pet food to donate and they will have a treat for you.
The New York Dog Film Festival® is an annual philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. The Festival is a two-hour program of short films with a canine theme – a medley of animated, documentary, and narrative films from around the world.
For information, email: Randi@FIlmFest919.com
Through every movie, in every genre, spanning many years, there has been a singular common plotline: That of a proud local theater and the steadfast community that supports it.
Laurie Paolicelli is the Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.
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