Do Yourself a Favor and Visit the Broadway Centre Cinema

%28Design+by+Claire+Peterson+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

Claire Peterson

(Design by Claire Peterson | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Luke Jackson, Arts Writer

 

As someone who might be called “an enjoyer of movies,” I’ve made a specific effort to visit the theater at least once a week for as long as I can remember. Since the world ended a couple years ago, movie theater attendance has dwindled. Typically, the theater is empty aside from myself and an elderly couple sitting two rows back. Whether it’s a fresh and haunting A24 indie film, a larger-than-life Nolan or Tarantino blockbuster or an incredibly boring Marvel CGI cameo-fest, I’ve found that there is always something worth seeing at the cinema.

While in the past I’ve felt quite alone in this opinion, I’ve recently noticed a resurgence in theater attendance. With new films like “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Top Gun: Maverick” and Jordan Peele’s “Nope,” it seems that folks have been more excited to visit the big screen. Imagine my surprise when I see not just the token elderly couple, but gaggles of youth entering our theaters. My heart fills with joy as the lights fade, the opening credits start and whispering flushes the crowd. We are no longer strangers, but a community all about to embark on a strange adventure together. In a personal effort to enlarge this feeling of community, I decided to visit the hidden and often forgotten gems of local movie theaters.

The Broadway Centre Cinemas

Tucked away between The Copper Onion and an insanely complicated and confusing parking structure is the Broadway Centre Cinemas. A blast of the scent of an old library smacks us in the face as we enter. It’s empty, except for two very kind theater workers at the large concession stands. They beckon us and sadly mention that we are the first patrons they’ve seen today. After all, it is 2 p.m. on a Tuesday.

The inside of the building is ornate and beautiful. From the concession stand, you can peek into the doorways of six different theaters. Classic white marquees with black lettering announce the treasures to be found inside. A tinge within me wishes I could stay all day, visiting each and every one.

It is clear that there is history in these halls, and probably a ghost or two. Who can say how many first kisses, first tears and first films have been made in these theaters? There is clearly a beating heart here I have not often found in Cineplexes and Cinemarks.

Truly A Special Place

We purchase our tickets to see “Marcell the Shell with Shoes On,” a delightful flick that values community as much as I do. Blue old-school theater chairs face a modest screen, as there are no recliners to be found here. Part of me is disappointed, but part of me can’t remember the last time I was in a theater like this. The second I sit I invoke Anton Ego eating his first bite as I am rocketed back to childhood in my local theater back home. To produce such a visceral experience, the Broadway Centre Cinemas must be an extraordinary place.

As expected, we are alone as the lights fade and the film begins. Just in the nick of time, an elderly couple scoots in two rows behind us. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy an afternoon of cinema. As the film begins, we are amalgamated. No longer individuals, but a community escaping into the screen.

Get There!

Personally, I think I found the exact spot I will be visiting to take in my weekly film. I can’t think of an establishment more catered to my every want and need. Want subtitles? Well, every Wednesday each film is shown with subtitles. Don’t want to pay for parking? You’re in luck, as the theater validates. Wish you could’ve watched “The Lord of the Rings” in the cinemas? They’re showing the series in marathon form on Aug. 13. Furthermore, they are constantly showing classic films, foreign films and documentaries. I genuinely can’t think of a better way to expand your heart.

If you, like me, are an enjoyer of movies, I can’t plead with you enough to visit Broadway Centre Cinemas. There is something so special about supporting a local establishment while simultaneously catching a flick not often shown in the big theaters. It feels like a secret hideaway just for you. When you get there, look for me. I’ll be two rows in front of the old couple.

 

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