The Beacon Columbia City
July 19–25, Wednesdays–Thursdays
Recommended by Jasmyne Keimig
Update: The theater has changed plans and will spend Monday and Tuesday installing air conditioning. Free week will resume Wednesday.
The 50-seat theater—which opens on Friday, July 19—is a new addition to Seattle's cinema scene, cofounded by Tommy Swenson and Casey Moore. They plan to screen an eclectic, curated selection of both new and old, avant-garde and mainstream films. This ethos is summed up in the opening-night double feature: pre-Code-era musical Gold Diggers of 1933 and iconic male-stripper-focused dramedy Magic Mike XXL. "They're two movies made 80 years apart that both have a lot to say about pleasure and sex and economy, and are just so much about the spirit of getting together and putting on a show," says Swenson with a smile. To start, the Beacon will present afternoon matinees and a few evening showings during the week, and three or four showings on weekends. Some of Swenson's selections will be informed by his anti-capitalist convictions and experience as a labor organizer in Portland. He and Moore hope to bring radical perspectives into an entertaining context—films that don't feel like "eating your vegetables and doing homework." During the Beacon's first week, admission will be free, in order to introduce the theater to as many people as possible.