DVD is quickly taking over VHS in the realm of video rental, providing better sound and vision as well as bonus material for “true fans.” Video stores and online retailers sell new releases for over $20 a pop. Still, with all the advances in movie-viewing technology, an old-fashioned movie theater is the best place to see a good flick.
As many might have noticed, the current state of mainstream movies is abysmal. Fortunately, a number of independent theaters and venues offer movies which, while almost always staying under the radar, take artistic chances most mainstream movies only dream of taking.
Philadelphia offers students a great opportunity to see movies from around the world. The HQ of fantastic international films remains the Ritz theaters in Old City. Ritz Five, Ritz East, and Ritz at the Bourse (visit www.ritzfilmbill.com for locations and movie times) offer a large, constantly rotating assortment of films. The best part: for students, movies are only $5.50 everyday except Saturday. That leaves more money for popcorn or the cab fare home.
Another great institution that frequently goes unnoticed is International House, located at 37th and Chestnut Streets. Specializing in older, more obscure films, this venue provides the perfect atmosphere to get your freaky-cult-movie-groove on. Together with Ritz and Prince Music Theater, International House is currently presenting the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema. Movies run until April 18. Visit www.phillyfests.com for more info on this monumental event.
For the more raucous, there’s Free Movie Mondays at the Balcony. Best part is all movies are free. Bad thing is it’s strictly over 21. Nevertheless, for an impromptu viewing of Say Anything, there’s no better place.
So you have six bucks in your pocket. What movie should you see tonight?
A film which savors both the beauty of its plot and setting is Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother Too), an entertaining Mexican film now showing at two of the Ritz theaters.
Neal Ramirez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org