What happens when the state's lone Bollywood theater owner takes over a historic downtown site that had been shut down for years? He transforms it

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Best Venue Chameleon

King Cat Theater

What happens when the state's lone Bollywood theater owner takes over a historic downtown site that had been shut down for years? He transforms it into a vibrant lounge that, like his favorite films, is bursting with lively entertainment and people. The King Cat Theater has become one of the city's most eclectic entertainment venues since Bangladeshi transplant Arif Amaani reopened it last summer. "My vision was to bring different communities together through entertainment," he says. "Film and music aren't just for a certain kind of people. It should accommodate everyone." He's accomplished that in an astoundingly short period of time. Ecstasy-charged raveheads dance through the venue's early-morning techno shows. East Africans, Rastafarians, and folks peddling incense gather for reggae concerts. Elderly Indian immigrants dress in traditional garb to attend Bollywood film showings. The only thing about the King Cat that remains constant is that it's different every single night. And its ability to attract and adapt to so many demographics is as intriguing as it is impressive.—Erika Hobart

 
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