Aside from live theater and an acting school with famous alum like Michaela Conlin, who plays Angela on Bones (one of my favorite TV shows), Civic Theatre is also a place where you can see "indy" movies.
Now, I'm not an "indy" film aficionado, but I always watch the trailers for the films that come to Civic in case there's something that might interest me. And that is how I came to see "Cheri", starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates, on Friday night at Civic's 514 Theatre.
Reasonably priced at $8 a person, admission to 514 is handled by the same guy who runs the small concession stand, so patience is a necessity. Since I had just come from dinner, I wasn't hungry for popcorn or candy (although I did notice they were far more affordable than I've seen at the movies in a long time). I just got a bottle of Coke, which was only $2, and went off to find a seat.
Also called the "black box" because the walls, floor and ceiling are all painted black (making it a perfect theater for movie-watching), 514 is fairly small. Several plywood tiers are set up with folding metal chairs that have cushiony seats, which actually aren't bad to sit in for the length of a movie. I wouldn't recommend 514 if you're claustrophobic, otherwise it provides a very intimate setting to enjoy a film.
The movie, a tragic romance with a bit of comic relief mixed in, was truly a beautiful film. However, with all of the "love" scenes, the elderly gent sitting next to me didn't seem to share my sentiment as his wife continued to whisper "I'm sorry I made you come."
So Cheri might not be for everyone (check out the trailer, and decide for yourself), but if you're interested, it's playing at Civic's larger 19th Street Theatre until Thursday.