Best Literary Series 2002 | Rocky Mountain Land SeriesTattered Cover Bookstore | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
How much do we love the Tattered Cover? We don't have enough time to count the ways. And now this Denver institution has given us yet another reason to give thanks. Not content with bringing in an impressive lineup of national authors for readings and signings on an almost-daily (and often thrice-daily) basis to its LoDo and Cherry Creek locations, the bookstore has also started the Rocky Mountain Land Series. Working in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Land Library, the series features authors whose works are devoted to Western issues, and it covers a lot of literary territory. This land is your land, this land is my land.

Best Place to See Big-Budget, Big-Picture Flicks

Continental Theatre

When an epic like The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring comes to town, a typical suburban-style multiplex simply won't do. Most movie buffs are going to want a wide screen with a booming sound system in order to appreciate Gandalf in all his wizardly splendor. In that regard, the Continental Theatre delivers. With 875 seats and a screen measuring 85 feet by 39 feet, this movie house has been the most satisfying place to see a blockbuster for more than three decades. A 1996 renovation added several smaller auditoriums, technically turning the place into a multiplex, but the main auditorium was left intact -- and the addition of a huge lobby with abundant concessions made the place even better. So for watching a formation of orcs swoop down over Frodo and company, there's no spot more terrifying than a seat near the front of the Continental's main theater.
Featuring six screens and a policy of booking foreign, independent and classic films 365 days a year, the new Starz FilmCenter in the old Tivoli Theaters on the Auraria campus represents a major advance in Denver's cultural life. Operated by the Denver Film Society, which produces the Denver International Film Festival each October, and Dallas- and New York-based Magnolia Pictures, the city's first cinématheque will also screen retrospectives, Saturday-morning children's programs and experimental works, providing a valuable supplement to Denver's major art-house chain, Landmark Theaters. Now, let's all go to the movies.
Since 1941, cinephiles have been showing classics and contemporary art films on the Boulder campus, and the schedule in Muenzinger Auditorium this spring is as strong as ever, ranging from Takashi Miike's Audition, which addresses marriage and sexuality in contemporary Japan, to Together, a smart ensemble comedy that won four major Swedish film awards when it was released last year, to the controversial works of young Darren Aronofsky, Pi and Requiem for a Dream. On Sunday nights, the Stan Brakhage Film Forum shows selections from the experimental filmmaker's personal collection, and director Ken Jacobs (Un Petit Train de Plaisir, Crystal Palace) will appear in person. For the whole dish, log on to the series' Web site.
For those who missed the Coen Brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There the first time around or who feel the urge to watch Mulholland Drive again on the big screen to try and figure out what the hell happened and sort out who all those women really are, Tiffany Plaza Movies 6 is the second-run multiplex for you. Daytime tickets go for a dollar; after 6 p.m. they're $1.50. Trying to squeeze by on a student budget? Hit the Tiff on Tuesdays: All shows are just fifty cents, popcorn not included. Projection and sound quality in the six houses are good, and the seats are reasonably comfortable -- just the place to catch up on your movie-going without breaking the bank.
Let's go to the cine! These days in Colorado, you can rent lots of movies with Spanish subtitles or voice-overs. But finding a Spanish-language movie theater is rare. In Aurora, though, you need look no further than the King Soopers shopping center at 6th and Peoria, where Cinema Latino offers Spanish-only movies, English-language movies with Spanish subtitles, and Spanish-language movies with English subtitles. Cinema Latino shows current and popular films, including kids' movies, "chica" flicks, and adult-themed drama and action films. And with reasonably priced tickets, you can take the whole familia!
It was at a Harry Potter screening that we began to feel the magic: The seats at the Westminster Promenade 24 seemed to enhance the viewing of the sorcery-soaked tale. Maybe it was the seat backs, which created a feeling of privacy -- a nice trick in a room filled with people. Or perhaps it was the legroom, which allowed one to stretch out like the massive Hagrid in the saga. Whatever it was, we'll be seeing movies there more often.
Operators of the Mayan Theatre have long known that the art house crowd likes specialty snacks, something beyond the realm of a crusty Milk Dud. But those who think the Mayan has grown stale should sink their teeth into some of these recent additions: an expanding collection of Ben & Jerry's gourmet ice cream bars, flavors of Republic of Tea ice teas such as ginseng peppermint and ginger peach and freshly-brewed bistro coffee with more body. And Sasha Webb, recently named manager of this landmark Landmark theater, promises more to come in the near future.
There aren't many drive-ins left in the Denver area, but judging from the lines that snake out from the entrance to the Cinderella Twin on weekend nights during the summer, there's still plenty of demand. This south metro area drive-in boasts two screens, each showing a double feature -- PG for the early show, R-rated later -- a full-dinner snack bar, FM radio sound in addition to traditional in-car speakers, and free admission for kids under eleven. And as the only local drive-in that runs during the spring -- it opens the weekend before Easter -- the Cinderella Twin also offers a nice place to cuddle: Special early-season deals, including in-car heaters and a $12 per carload price, last until May.
It's too bad that most drive-ins are only open in the summer; otherwise, they'd be the perfect year-round cheap date for the starving -- and horny -- college student. As it is, only students attending Colorado State University's summer session get to make out at the Holiday Twin Drive-in. Although the pictures tend toward family fare, the location on the far west side of town gives you a great sunset view of Horsetooth Rock before the show starts.

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