• Landmark's Egyptian Theater on Pine and Broadway is closing after 24 years of showing independent movies. The last day is June 27, but no one knows what's next for the 1915 building, originally built as a Masonic Temple, eventually used as a wrestling arena, and the early home of the Seattle International Film Festival. A spokeswoman for Seattle Central Community College, the building's owner, said it was New York–based Landmark's decision to leave. Landmark's money problems are well-known, but so are cost-cutting SCCC's. Lauren Kleiman of Landmark said the two were "unable to come to mutually agreeable terms" while renegotiating the lease, and that everyone working there is expected to lose their jobs. SCCC's Janet Grimley says they are "open to suggestions or ideas" for what to do with the space. How about an independent movie theater?
• In a speech at Roosevelt High School's graduation ceremony last Wednesday, local novelist David Guterson spoke about how when he was 18, he was obsessed with "an awareness of [mortality] while I was having so much fun, and the way I dealt with it was by telling myself that old age and death were way off in the future, that I had a lot of time, that I would deal with it later." But death always loomed, no matter what, and now he's a novelist whose best days are way behind him (we're paraphrasing, of course). Guterson was reportedly heckled by parents and students who thought the speech was too negative. They were wrong; it was at least something other than a string of cliches. To the graduates, The Stranger would like to offer our congratulations on surviving the easiest part of your lives.
• Polarizing New York novelist Tao Lin said at his Taipei reading on Monday night at Elliott Bay Book Company: "My inner monologue is a constant diatribe against reviews... A lot of reviews are seeming spam-bot written. Something about irony, and then just..." His voice trailed off. After the reading, full of Lin-like awkwardness, he was seen eating a taco salad at Bimbo's with his hands. "I completely forgot about forks," he said, when someone offered him a fork.
• The paintings of Seattle artist Steve Jensen have now been to outer space and back. Gaming giant Richard Garriott happened to be at a party at Jensen's 10th Avenue studio, where he heard Jensen explaining why he has been making art about boats for 20 years—paintings of boats that seem to float on water rather than in it, rising toward otherworldly moonlight; sculptures of boats that seem dredged up from unknown depths, made of glass and metal embedded with pearls and other marvelous materials. The first work of boat-art was for a dying friend, the next to contain his Viking-descended father's ashes, then one for his late partner, then his mother... so the boat became his life's work. Garriott decided on the spot to take Jensen's boats toward the unknown, where they seemed so much to want to go. He included two of the paintings in a 12-piece exhibition of art that went up in a spaceship, came back, and was auctioned to benefit space education for kids.