I used to love going down to Columbia City and playing a few rounds of pinball at Full Tilt or grabbing a bite before a movie at Columbia City Cinema. Sadly, the theater closed after a drawn-out kerfuffle with the city. But now we can rejoice! The theater is reopening as Ark Lodge Cinemas in its namesake beautiful old building.

Cienna Madrid spoke with new operator David McRae, who says they are starting out by putting on a Lord of the Rings trilogy marathon December 8-9. The first regular film run will be The Hobbit, starting December 14.

McRae has lots of cinema experience:

I’ve managed theaters in the past, and grew up in a theater that my parents ran as a kid (Cinemond in Redmond). I’ve been involved throughout the years in one form or another with film presentations and from being a manager to technician, to digital implementation. I spent the last two years installing digital projection systems at theaters converting from film to digital.

We’ve been working on this deal since September. We’re really looking forward to it—it’s been amazing the response from the community and local businesses.