4816 Rainier Ave. S., 721-3156, arklodgecinemas.com
When the Columbia City Cinema closed a couple of years ago due to problems meeting city code, its regulars were heartbroken. The South End didn’t have any other movie theater, and this was a great one—playing art-house and family-friendly movies alike in a charming, historic building that stood in sharp contrast to soulless multiplexes. Luckily, along came David McRae to save the day. McRae grew up in the movie business; his parents ran a Redmond cinema. After buying the Columbia City operation, McRae put up the necessary money and brought the cinema up to code. In its year of operation, the renamed Ark Lodge Cinemas has, if anything, offered an even better selection of movies than its predecessor. Prices are low. The popcorn is tasty. The staff is friendly to a fault. So why aren’t 3 the audiences bigger? McRae says some people still don’t realize that the cinema has reopened. People: It’s open! Help make sure it stays that way. With this summer’s demise of the Egyptian, we need cinemas like this more than ever.