One can’t appreciate the genius of Stanley Kubrick on the small screen. His films are larger than life and so must be the presentation. On the silver screen, Kubrick’s films are a captivating and absorbing experience so it is terrific for Kubrick fans that the Playhouse Cinema on Sherman Street North is currently hosting a Kubrick festival with the films Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Shining.
We went to see Dr. Strangelove, a satirical farce that has the late Peter Sellers playing four roles, including the psychotic genius for whom the film is titled. Released in 1964 in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and at the height of the Cold War, this classic movie is the expression of a collective nervous laugh. With a healthy dose of black humour, the movie examines the madness of the military doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction and the nuclear arms race including a doomsday device. The absurdity of the plot is actually based on some truth.
I’ve watched this film several times including on those old TVs we’ve all forgotten about:
To be able to finally enjoy this film on the big screen was a real treat, especially at the Playhouse Cinema. The newly renovated and reopened cinema is a very pleasant surprise. The theatre is quite large and has lots of seats without sacrificing leg room. The seats are more of the traditional type. They don’t recline and they don’t provide a lot of elbow space if the theatre is at capacity, but they are comfortable and they offer some movement for the restless among us.
Where it counts, however, they nail it. The screen is huge and will do justice to Kubrick’s films. The sound is clear but not deafening. Guests are greeted at a front counter where admission and snacks are sold together. The entrance to the theatre is on either side. It is not a very big front room so lines can quickly form right out the door. Admission prices are set at $12 (students and seniors $9) and snacks and popcorn is ridiculously priced like everywhere else, but there is a $10 membership that takes $4 off the price of a regular ticket and offers a small popcorn and drink for $6. The “members’ snack bar combo” won’t satisfy all appetites but then there is chocolate and even healthy snacks.
To find out what’s playing and when, Playhouse Cinema maintains a well organized website with a calendar. Find it here: https://playhousecinema.ca
The website also provides information on parking, transit and cycling routes and … ” there is a bike rack in front of the theatre”. Interesting, fun fact, theatre goers in the South Sherman neighbourhood must walk or cycle if they prefer not to drive as there is no bus routes on Sherman. Why would anyone prefer not to drive? Stanley Kubrick and legal weed, man.
Next up, The Shining.
Update: The regular ticket prices were originally reported incorrectly as $13 and student and senior pricing has been added.