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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Let’s go out to the lobby

By Danny Letz

Movie theaters in Salt Lake City aren’t difficult to spot — Larry Miller has done a good job of making sure his sprawling Megaplexes are almost as visible as the Luxor laser beam in Las Vegas. This is great, especially in a city that suffers from murky-air inversions, blistering heat waves and frigid cold months — theaters assure audiences that the proper room temperature for the human body is a mild 68 to 69 degrees, despite whatever chaotic, Katrina-like weather might be lashing outside.

Thanks unto the gods of central heating and air conditioning.

But not all of Salt Lake City’s best theaters have the John Hancock of Larry H. across their logo. In fact, Salt Lake City is host to a number of smaller, independent theaters, whose offerings tend to carry more substance than the buttered popcorn and Raisinettes offered at the concession stands.

Let Redux be your guide to discovering the best that Salt Lake City has to offer when it comes to local theaters.

Broadway Centre Cinemas

Step-parent to the smaller Tower Theatre, the Salt Lake Film Society’s Broadway Centre Cinemas is a modern, independent theater dedicated to bringing the best in independent film to Salt Lake City.

Host in January to Salt Lake City’s arm of the Sundance Film Festival, the Broadway screens a majority of Park City’s films without the hassle of a 40-minute drive up the canyon.

On Tuesdays the Broadway (and Tower) offers discounted student tickets — all screenings are $5.50 — to reduce the bite taken out of the already dissolving balance in student checkbooks.

Considering what the price gets you, it’s worth every penny.

Tower Theatre

Perhaps Salt Lake City’s most noted, or notorious, independent theater is the Tower, a small throwback to the days before seating was stadium-style, and when theaters had both a balcony and a stage in front of the silver screen.

The Tower’s single screen is reserved for alternative, independent films with smaller niche-like audiences than its sister cinema, the Broadway.

Often using this space for foreign and obscure independent films, the Tower has become known for its selection of intriguing and challenging films from across the spectrum of independent offerings.

Before entering the theater itself, the Tower boasts perhaps the greatest collection of obscure, foreign, I-can’t-find-it-anywhere-else movies for rent. Looking for that copy of “Shoot the Piano Player” or “The General?” Don’t fret, the Tower has it.

In addition, the Tower offers a number of events, ranging from its Friday and Saturday midnight movies to its yearly Halloween screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

All things told, the Tower remains one of the greatest, culturally relevant theaters in Salt Lake City.

Regency Theatres at Trolley Square

Believe, dear reader; there once was a day when Salt Lake City malls were housed indoors (gasp!) and had no need for a connecting sky-bridge over a major city street (double gasp!).

Proof, you ask?

Look no further than the neon-colored water tower of Trolley Square. Nestled inside this maze of hallways and trolley car memorabilia is

Much like the Broadway, Regency offers a number of small, independent films in addition to the occasional larger release.

What does Regency offer (aside from the smack of Trolley Square nostalgia) that other theaters lack, you ask?

Discounted student tickets — all day, every day.

Brewvies Cinema Pub

Brewvies is alternatively described by patrons as either a “glorified dollar theater” or a “cinema pub.” Combining the best of both monikers (cheap prices from the former, great food/beer from the latter), Brewvies is the only theater in Salt Lake that: A. serves beer; B. makes nachos without the liquid-cheese substance; and C. well…serves beer.

The marble slab that runs in front of every seat not only facilitates the placement of pitchers and burgers, but allows you to kick up your feet without kicking the headrest in front of you.

Running only the best of newer releases, Brewvies is a much-needed hotspot for the 21-and-older crowd.

Also, student tickets are cheap: $3 for all shows, all week long. So, whether you’re a lush or simply frugal, Brewvies is the place to be.

Salt Lake Film Center

Salt Lake City’s non-profit organization, the Salt Lake Film Center (not to be confused with the Film Society — owner of the Broadway and Tower theatres) has no central theater to speak of, but its screenings — shown in a variety of Salt Lake theaters — are top-notch.

Think some of the best films possibly offered anywhere in the state, all of them free. Yes, free.

Information regarding upcoming screenings is available on the center’s website,, with a calendar of events and show times. You’re a Salt Lake taxpayer, so you’ve earned these films (literally). Take advantage of them.

[email protected]

Bobby Sakaki

Regency Theatres at Trolley Square offers a number of small, independent films as well as some larger releases.

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