Indianapolis to get new arthouse theater

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Seth Paxton, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    The story can be found at the Indy Star

    While I truly appreciate what Keedy has done with the Keystone theater and the films he brings in, the theater is very poor and remains rundown. And the Castleton Arts is really just a crappy 80's style 3 screen from the days of the mall multiplexes (in this case General Cinemas with a 4 screen in the mall and a 3 screen in the parking lot).

    Both are seriously subpar viewing environments and only the content they provide make them quality choices for seeing a film.

    I hope the Castleton people will be moved over to the new theater and that Keedy can still find his niche (I doubt the new theater will take over any of the homosexually focused content that he has been willing to carry, like the Gay and Lesbian film festival he hosts).

    However, this is a big win for the city IMO which has seriously lagged behind other moderately sized markets in bringing in a healthy choice of art films as well as a nice place to see them.

    Heck even the mainstream theaters are mostly crap with the 2 Kerasotes (not the new one on the westside though) and the UA 96th St being the only decent theaters in town, theaters that would be far from the top choice in cities like LA, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Dallas or even Cincinnati just 90 minutes away.
     
  2. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm definitely looking forward to it, especially since the Fashion Mall is one of the nicest parts of town, imo.

    I do hope, though, that Keedy manages to stick around.
     
  3. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Guess I can move back home now. I left Naptown in 1951 because there were no good art theaters. [​IMG]
     
  4. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Seth:

    This is certainly something to celebrate, especially being a Northsider, a mere ten minutes away from KATC. The last time I was at Castleton Arts was to see A Mighty Wind. I thought it was nice for a facility its age; I just tend to wait until films are on DVD to see them, which has gotten harder now that Video Vault in Nora just closed down. Tell me--where do you go to rent quality films? I must admit, it's been years since I darkened the door of a Blockbuster or the like.
     
  5. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    I saw RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK at the 4 screen in the mall back in 1980.

    I think I saw RETURN OF THE JEDI there as well.

    I know I saw TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME at the 3-screener in the parking lot.

    And, of course, I saw STAR WARS for the first time at the movie theater in the parking lot of the Washington Square mall.
     
  6. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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  7. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Relatively new to Indiana here. Thinking about taking a drive this weekend to "Key Cinemas" on South Keystone Ave. Is this theater any good? Is it any of the ones mentioned aboved? Thanks.
     
  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    Kirk, what happened to CA?

    ~T
     
  9. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I don't know how good their rental selection is, but the Laser's Edge (which is affiliated with HTF) is located in Carmel. Great selection of DVD's for sale, and they sell everything at 20-25% off. Like I said, though, don't know about their rental selection as I hardly ever rent movies anymore.
     
  10. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    Kirk, Key Cinemas is an older neighborhood duplex (built in the late 60's or early 70's) in a strip mall. They exhibit many foreign, independent, doc and classic releases other area chains won't touch (not even AMC Castleton Arts), as well as local film festivals and the usual indie fare. They've had several director appearances and special benefits as well.

    The presentation is as good as it can be in a facility of this age & design. The screens are a bit smallish for the size of the auditoriums so if you go (and I do, almost weekly), you'll want to sit closer than normal. Only one theater currently has surround sound (new, the other is stereo only) but this is hardly tragic given the types of films usually shown. It is very clean, reasonably priced, run by a local film fanatic and attracts mainly attentive audiences of adults and a few college students.

    No one will ever mistake Key Cinemas for a SOTA facility. But until Landmark opens, it is the only place in town to see Hijacking Disaster, Broadway The Golden Years, Moolaade, Vera Drake, and Bad Education.

    However...it's about the FILM. Yah...remember...MOVIES? Some of the most moving cinematic experiences of my life took place in the old Art Institute auditorium watching old black and white movies in 4:3. Yes, of course, I love SOTA modern presentation, big screens, well caibrated suround sound yada yada.

    And Seth - I think you're WAY off on your take on Indy cinemas, especially what you call "decent" theaters. Oh, to be young and intolerant again.

    Let's get a little perspective on this...

    Kerasotes and UA the only good presentations in town? Huh?

    I've seen excellent presentations at the Regals and AMC Greenwood, and I prefer the large auditoriums with DTS in Greenwood to almost any theater in town. (By this I mean large comfortable auditorium, big screen, movie projected in focus and framed correctly, and calibrated surround system.)

    I don't care much for UA14 - seats too far from the screen and I've complained about focus and framing there once too often to be happy (ditto for Kerasotes Glendale) plus I don't like the physical arrangement of most of their auditoriums (I hate looking up). The stadium auditoriums with DTS & DD at my local, Regal Shiloh, are excellent - their presentation of Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator were outstanding. Granted, Castleton Arts is an aging facility, and hardly my prefered auditorium layout. But they have newish projectors, screens, sound sytems, seats and carpeting. I have seen art movies in much (MUCH) worse facilities - and that includes Cinci.

    While we anxiously await the opening of the new art complex at Fashion Mall, meanwhile we have at least six screens around town that exclusively show art/indy/foreign fare - that's more than many towns the same size. And frankly, I don't feel deprived without DLP projection. (Yeah, I saw it in Chicago.)

    And lest you think I'm a provincial fogey who simply stands up for the hometown...I see movies in more than a few cities when I travel. I still go back to Chicago, home of my alma mater Art Institute, for screenings several times a year. Minus The Music Box and one new facility, how about the poky and cramped delights of The Esquire, Pipers Alley, and Threepenny cinemas? Since 1998 I've seen films in San Diego, LA, New York, Atlanta, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Cleveland, Kansas City, Nashville, Tampa, Columbus (OH), Louisville (Baxter Cinemas are great), Lexington, Knoxville.

    Movie Indy ain't perfect but it's doing a lot better than many other medium sized metro areas. Like it or not, Indianapolis is a much smaller market than Houston, LA, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago or Cincinnati. Impatient though you and I may be to see cinema's latest and greatest, we are a secondary market. We currently do NOT lag behind *similar* sized cities.

    At the risk of sounding like an old fart...when I got back from college in mid 70's there were NO art screens in town, and I saw 2-3 art cinemas fold in quick succession over the years. Until Castleton Arts and Key Cinemas, Indy film fans often had to drive at least two hours or more to see many foreign/independent releases. While I'm overjoyed at the new facility (despite the traffic woes at the Fashion Mall which can be truly awful), I do feel a pang for folks like Keedy that kept the flame alive for so long.

    And I still say 6 screens of foreign/indie movies ain't bad for a burgh in the middle of the country with a pop. of just over 1 million, and 6 new/recently constructed multi-plexes hardly "lags" behind the rest of the nation.

    If Simon Malls wants to put the cherry on top of their Landmark deal, they'll bring back California Pizza Kitchen at the Fashion Mall.
     
  11. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    AMC Greenwood is an EXCELLENT theater, I agree. I saw TPM there back in 1999 when they were one of the only theaters in town to have Dolby Digital-EX.

    EDIT: Strike that, I saw TPM at the theater north of Greenwood, just north of I-465, in fact.
     
  12. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Matt:

    Know very well about Laser's Edge; I buy most of my DVDs there. Great place! Unfortunately, they're about a half hour away, so not always convenient to get to repeatedly when renting.
     
  13. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    Thi, I left CA because IU Bloomington was the law school I most preferred among the ones that accepted me (my priority CA schools rejected me [​IMG]), and they gave me a small scholarship.

    Claire, thanks for the info. I totally understand your stance on the quality of theater v. film release patterns. The reason why I considered driving there in the first place was exactly because they are the closest theaters that are playing A Very Long Engagement and Vera Drake. I used to drive (only 20 minutes though) to Sacramento for those movies too, even though one of the theaters (Tower, here's looking at you) was horribly managed. From your description, Key sounds much better.
     
  14. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    Kirk:

    I went to IU-B law. Loved the new (well, new in 2000 when I was there) theater on the west side of town.

    I liked the theater by (not in) the mall too.
     
  15. Jerry R Colvin

    Jerry R Colvin Stunt Coordinator

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    They were until last fall (assuming you could forgive them for forcing the historic Vogue Theatre out of business).

    Showcase Cinemas a few miles down the road closed, so now all those orphaned mainstream movies are showing at Baxter Cinemas. Many, many of last year's art house flicks that were advertised as Coming Soon (such as Undertow, Code 46, Enduring Love, Badassssss!, Young Adam, Zatoichi, The Machinist, I'm Not Scared, The Saddest Music in the World, etc.) never showed up.

    I read that they always wanted to run mostly mainstream movies, but weren't able to because Showcase had first run dibs for the area, so that's why they only showed art house films all those years. Now they are supposedly showing the kind of movies they really wanted to show all along. Business is booming, but an era is over... pathetic. There are no other theaters here in Louisville dedicated to art house flicks.

    Makes me want to move back to Indianapolis, my home from 1992-1999. I always look for Landmark Cinemas when I travel in the U.S. You're quite lucky!
     
  16. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    Kirk, the "it's about the film" tirade wasn't necessarily aimed at you. Just one of those "why are we all really here" and "when I was a young whippersnapper" kinda things. :wink:

    Key Cinemas isn't fancy but it's a decent enough venue, provided you sit closer than normal. Keedy also has a theater in Columbus, which may be closer for you.

    I'm so sorry to hear Baxter is going over to the dark side. They were showing one first run cineplex fodder kinda flick when I was last there (maybe in spring/summer) but the rest of the screens were showing indies/foreign. (I think I saw Donnie Darko/DC there.) We're in the horse business so I see Louisville and Lexington a lot. The Vogue was a *great* theater with wonderful programming (how many rep theaters are left?) and a huge screen. I loved that place and was heartbroken to see it close. When Indy was between art theaters, it was sometimes the closest movie house to me with this type of programming. (I don't think I want to trade you a Landmark Cinema for your CA Pizza Kitchen in St. Matthews though.) BTW, Indy got all those films you mentioned, either at Castlton Arts, Key Cinemas, or Regal Art (Regal always devotes a screen on the northside to an art film - I saw Code 46 there).

    Since I live on the West side, I'm gonna drive 35-40 minutes to any arthouse in Indy, including the new one. (Unless they're lucky enough, like Sideways to get Oscar noms.)

    I love Lasers Edge and buy most of my dvds there. But since it's 45 minutes away, I've joined Netflix and couldn't be happier.

    Since I'm a realtor - just let me know when you're ready to move back to Indy! I'll get you nice and close to Landmark!
     
  17. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    I only travel to Indy if there's a concert going on. I do have family there but I'd take a trip for a classic film I really wanted to see.

    Baxter Ave. in Louisville turned into a joke several years ago. I saw all sorts of classic films there ranging from Kubrick to Hitchcock to stuff like the Universal Monsters. I got to see CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in 3D, BLADE RUNNER, most of the early Kubrick, CASABLANCA and many others. All of the sudden they just stopped showing this stuff and now nothing good is there.



    As a movie fan, this was the worst day of my life. The first time I drove to Louisville was for a midnight showing of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER at the Vogue. I loved that theater so much that I'd go there every week to see whatever they showed. If I ever got enough money I'd certainly try to open that place back up.
     
  18. Claire Panke

    Claire Panke Second Unit

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    Michael, if you open the Vogue back up I'll be there opening night, whatever you're showing.

    That's a shame about the Baxter cinemas. Louisville is such a good theater town, it's a crime they now have neither the Vogue noe the Baxter for quality films.
     

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