Named for a French film film of the 1930s, the Grand Illusion is a tiny jewel box of a theater that sits at the corner of University Way and 50th Street in Seattle's U District. Though attendance is sparse (and I don't think the theater hold more than 75, anyway), it's one of my favorite places to catch a movie in Seattle.
We were running late for tonight's showing of Knife in the Water, but Amy V, Michael, and I sprinted down the block in an effort to get there before the film rolled... only to find a locked door. Squeezing through the attached Starlife on the Oasis Cafe, I found two volunteers in the projection room, but the film wasn't running. It was late, no one had shown up on time, and they weren't going to show the movie for a grand total of three people who would only have had to pay ten bucks all together (with Tuesday being Member Mooch Night, Amy would've been free since Michael and I are members).
And really, I can't blame them. And I wonder how many times this has happened before, and I wonder again why so few people come here. Shouldn't the local college kids be lapping this stuff up? Art house flicks and bizarro late night shows on the weekends? The fact is, other than the annual It's a Wonderful Life Christmas party viewing (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is free for everyone), I don't think I've ever seen more than ten people in the audience, and even ten is a stretch.
So instead of spending an evening reading subtitles, we wound up drinking bubble tea at nearby Pochi while playing Yahtzee with a random assortment of dice. Not what we had had in mind, but hey, still a chance to get out. And Amy and I are considering trying the 9pm showing tomorrow... and this time we won't be late.