What's the deal with Regal Meridian 16? Late last month, Insider reported that the downtown Regal location was one of 39 theaters across the country to close as owner Cineworld deals with bankruptcy proceedings. The mournful death of downtown tweets were twote, I canceled my Regal Crown Club membership, and we all readied plans to stand over the cineplex's open grave.
And yet: Things may not be exactly what they seem. Last week, former Stranger editor Chase Burns tweeted that Regal staff members said they weren't going anywhere. And this week, the heavily-paywalled Puget Sound Business Journal and the good folks over at the Seattle Collegian also spoke with Regal staffers who shot down any ideas that Regal Meridian 16 is about to close. Though Cineworld and Regal have yet to confirm their plans to any outlet, I will point out that it's possible to buy tickets for films screening on days after the cineplex's alleged close date.
Update: Today, the Seattle Times reported that they obtained an email from the theater's general management to Regal staffers saying "that the building landlord and the courts have come to an agreement on its lease and the theater will not be closing." Breaking news people! Still not publicly confirmed by Regal Cinemas, but maybe I should renew my club membership soon...
I should also note: That Grand Illusion Cinema also recently learned that their building is up for sale after signing a two-year lease. But they said they are "determined to recreate the magic someplace new" and move whenever it's convenient. I have a pretty good suggestion should a certain late billionaire's estate feel so generous.
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yəhaw̓ now has 1.5 acres of land in South Seattle: In December, the Indigenous-led arts collective purchased a large parcel of undeveloped land in Rainier Beach for $1.9 million. The land has "more than 500 trees, bisects Mapes Creek, and is located near public transit in a diverse multigenerational neighborhood." They plan to create a community hub for Indigenous creatives to make art, be in community, and connect with the land. “We wanted space for Native people to connect with actual green space and canopy space and not just move into an office building, but have some transformative outdoor art experiences available to people in the city," yəhaw̓ cofounder Asia Tail told Crosscut. Can't wait to see what's next!
Scarecrow Video got featured on a CNN travel show: “It’s not nostalgia. It’s history. It’s cultural history," Scarecrow marketing coordinator Matt Lynch told CNN's Richard Quest about the video store's importance. "We all have communal experiences. We all see the same movies, experience the same art. These movies collect all those experiences for us.”
Say hello to your new Seattle Civic Poet: Shin Yu Pai, congrats!!! The 2014 Stranger Genius Award shortlister is the first Asian-American to serve as the city's civic poet, a role they will take on for the next two years. "As the former Poet Laureate of The City of Redmond, I worked with the city to develop poetry-based public art projects and elevated poetry through curated public programming and outdoor activation of public spaces," she said in a statement. "I can't wait to do the same for Seattle, and more." I believe that poetry has the power to change the world.
ICYMI: Barbara Earl Thomas gave a sneak preview of her artwork that decorates the Judkins Park Station platform in the Central District which is still under construction. Beautiful!
To end this arts mailbag: Open Source reissued One Glove from storied Seattle indie band Stephanie: