Wonka @ SIFF Cinema Downtown

Chocolate popcorn is back 🍿🍫

📸: Wonka

📅 Opens Thursday, December 14th
📍 SIFF Cinema Downtown: 2100 4th Ave, Seattle

Praise Wonka. Seattle’s best cinema venue is reopening just in time for the holidays. And not a moment too soon. When the Cinerama closed mere weeks before the pandemic, all seemed lost. Then this past May, the Seattle International Film Festival—along with some assistance from a city that wants to keep its arts scene thriving—was able to reacquire it, clear out the cobwebs, and get it ready for a new populace. It has a new name—the previous owners did not have rights to the Cinerama trademark—but the movie palace is still in great shape, still has 35mm/70mm/Cinerama projection capabilities, and still has the venue’s famed chocolate popcorn.

So naturally they’d choose the charming, good-natured, family-friendly Roald Dahl prequel for their grand unveiling.

For some reason, people are suspicious of Timothée Chalamet. I don’t agree, but whatever. So how about I approach pitching Wonka in a different way. It’s a full-blown musical with songs by The Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon. It’s directed by Paul King, responsible for British cult TV hits Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh before he made Paddington 1 2. And it’s co-written by Simon Farnaby (also of Boosh/Paddington fame), a writer/performer on beloved across-the-pond hits Horrible HistoriesYonderland, and Ghosts. I think that’s a good chemical makeup.

Some screenings are already on standby, but Wonka will play there through at least January 10th. There’s plenty of time to get yourself reacquainted with their comfy-as-hell seats, their expansive menu (beer and wine included!), and the most spectacular screen around.

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Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.