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Special Events and Series

20th Anniversary Celebration Series

Join us throughout 2024 as we show some of our favorite films celebrating significant anniversaries this year, in celebration of our own significant anniversary: 20 years as a volunteer-operated nonprofit cinema!

Seattle Film Festival 2024

June 26-30, with screenings at the Grand Illusion on June 27, 28, & 29.

MASKING RULES & GUIDELINES

  • Masks remain required for weekend screenings before 6pm and for select special event screenings as noted.
  • Masks are encouraged for all other screenings, but not required.
  • Why are we doing this?
    Our aim is to make seeing movies here safe and comfortable for everyone. In addition, the cinema is operated 100% by volunteers and we are trying to keep them healthy!

Now Playing

I Used to Be Funny

Ally Pankiw · 2024
105min · DCP
  • Friday, Jun 21, 2024, 7:00pm
  • Saturday, Jun 22, 2024, 4:45pm
  • Sunday, Jun 23, 2024, 2:30pm
  • Sunday, Jun 23, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Sunday, Jun 30, 2024, 6:00pm
  • Monday, Jul 1, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Wednesday, Jul 3, 2024, 7:15pm

I USED TO BE FUNNY is a dark dramedy that follows Sam Cowell (Rachel Sennott), an aspiring stand-up comedian and au pair struggling with PTSD, as she decides whether or not to join the search for Brooke (Olga Petsa), a missing teenage girl she used to nanny. The story exists between the present, where Sam tries to recover from her trauma and get back on stage, and the past, where memories of Brooke make it harder and harder to ignore the petulant teen’s sudden disappearance. Writer/director Ally Pankiw’s debut feature is both funny and heartbreaking in its honest and refreshing look at trauma and recovery, and how they affect the relationships and communities that shape us.

“The tonal balance of I Used to Be Funny is thoughtful, folding in laughs with serious subject matter that never at any point feels manipulative or punishing, but rather relatable and therapeutic.” Jenny Nulf, The Austin Chronicle

“Sennott is perfectly cast, portraying Sam as simultaneously lifeless and hilarious with her default blasé attitude and dry-wit humor.” Weiting Lu, Little White Lies

CRITIC’S PICK! Features a mic-drop performance by Rachel Sennott.” Amy Nicholson, The New York Times

Cora Bora

Hannah Pearl Utt · 2024
92min · DCP
  • Saturday, Jun 22, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Sunday, Jun 23, 2024, 5:00pm
  • Monday, Jun 24, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, Jun 26, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, Jun 30, 2024, 3:45pm
  • Tuesday, Jul 2, 2024, 7:30pm

While trying to make it in LA, struggling musician Cora (Megan Stalter) senses her long distance, open relationship is on the rocks. But when she goes home to Portland to try to win her girlfriend back, she realizes it’s much more than her love life that needs salvaging.

Cora Bora is the kind of representation chaotic bisexuals demand. (Or at least this one does!) …a sensational cringe comedy, spiked with wicked humor, skin-crawling awkward scenarios, and an ardent — if wounded — heart.” Kristy Puchko, Mashable

“In her first feature lead performance, [Stalter] makes a convincing case for many more. In moments the movie asks her to dig deep, she breaks Cora open with such raw, ragged sincerity that it’s hard to look away.” Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter

Coming Soon

Disorderly Conduct

70min · DCP
  • Sunday, Jun 30, 2024, 8:30pm

Presented by Full Spectrum Features and curated by Chicago filmmaker Henry Hanson (curator of CYBERGRIME), these queer underground short films spotlight unruly rebels who trespass, shoplift, scheme, skate, surf, screw, and joyfully plot their revenge on a society that seeks to punish deviance. From stealing testosterone to redistribute to trans men, trespassing to dance, shoplifting to feed friends, defiling a colonizer’s grave, to assassinating a billionaire, these films reveal criminality as a gateway to new social forms, beautiful acts of love, and collective liberation. The rules are f***ed up. Why not break them?

Program includes: “Hormonal” (Maz Murray – UK, 2023); “Cicada” (FRANK/ie CONSENT – USA, 2021); “Skate Bitches” (Samuel Shanahoy – Australia, 2012); “F*** THE FASCISM – The Crossroad of Two Worlds” (MariaBasura – Chile, 2020); “Play Structure” (FRANK/ie CONSENT – USA, 2020); “The Beach Boys” (Milo Talwani – USA, 2024); with interstitial video art by Franz Murder. Click here to read more about each short. This program will be presented with open captions.

Full Spectrum Features is a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to supporting underrepresented filmmakers.

*Due to to the explicit subject matter of some of the content in this program, no one under 18 will be admitted.*

Fancy Dance

Erica Tremblay · 2024
92min · DCP
  • Friday, Jul 5, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, Jul 6, 2024, 4:00pm
  • Sunday, Jul 7, 2024, 2:00pm
  • Sunday, Jul 7, 2024, 6:15pm
  • Tuesday, Jul 9, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Thursday, Jul 11, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Sunday, Jul 14, 2024, 6:00pm

Since her sister’s disappearance, Jax (Lily Gladstone) has cared for her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) by scraping by on the Seneca-Cayuga reservation in Oklahoma. Every spare minute goes into finding her missing sister while also helping Roki prepare for an upcoming powwow. At the risk of Jax losing custody to Roki’s grandfather, Frank (Shea Whigham), the pair hit the road and scour the backcountry to track down Roki’s mother in time for the powwow. What begins as a search gradually turns into a far deeper investigation into the complexities and contradictions of Indigenous women moving through a colonized world while at the mercy of a failed justice system.

Please note: The 2pm screening on Sunday, July 7th will be shown with open captions.

“Erica Tremblay’s bold and confident debut Fancy Dance immediately cements her as a brand-new Debra Granik or Taylor Sheridan, with an assured voice entirely her own.” Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar

“An authentically observant slice of reservation life.” Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint

Tomas Gomez Bustillo · 2024
84min · DCP
  • Saturday, Jul 6, 2024, 2:00pm
  • Saturday, Jul 6, 2024, 6:15pm
  • Sunday, Jul 7, 2024, 4:15pm
  • Sunday, Jul 7, 2024, 8:30pm
  • Monday, Jul 8, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024, 7:30pm

In a tiny Argentinian town, a pious yet competitive woman decides that staging a miracle could be her ticket to sainthood. After discovering a lost statue, she orchestrates a grand reveal that will finally anoint her as the most admired woman in the community. But before the unveiling, a jarring event illuminates the hidden magic of her world, forcing her to reevaluate everything she once took for granted.

Nominated for three 2024 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best First Feature! In Spanish with English subtitles.

Chronicles of a Wandering Saint wows with its simplicity. A high concept film that is full of relatable humor and easily paced to let you soak it all in. What a debut for Gómez Bustillo, and what a performance from Mónica Villa!” J Hurtado, ScreenAnarchy

“…a see-it-to-believe-it visual treat.” Dex Wesley Parra, The Austin Chronicle

Fantasy A Gets a Mattress

Noah Zoltan Sofian, David Norman Lewis · 2023
79min · DCP
  • Saturday, Jul 6, 2024, 8:30pm

We all know that summer in Seattle doesn't officially start until right after the 4th of July, so kick off your Seattle summer right with local movie sensation FANTASY A GETS A MATTRESS as it makes its return to the Grand Illusion Cinema.

Fantasy A, real-life autistic Seattle rapper, suffers trials and tribulations from total creeps as he attempts to become a superstar. After being kicked out of his group home onto the grim summer streets, Fantasy A sets off on an odyssey to achieve fame and find a good mattress to sleep on in this ensemble comedy filmed entirely on location in Seattle.

The legend himself, Fantasy A, will be present to introduce the screening, and he and the filmmakers will also take part in a post-show Q&A!

FANTASY A GETS A MATTRESS captures Seattle like no other movie before it. With its bright, vivid colors and glorious cinematography, you can practically feel the city’s summer sun simmering from the screen.

“…a truly original Seattle story overflowing with homegrown creativity and humor… the history of Seattle film has a new chapter that, while still being written, begins and ends with Fantasy A.” Chase Hutchinson, The Seattle Times

Robot Dreams

Pablo Berger · 2023
102min · DCP
  • Friday, Jul 12, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Saturday, Jul 13, 2024, 6:00pm
  • Sunday, Jul 14, 2024, 3:30pm
  • Monday, Jul 15, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Jul 16, 2024, 7:30pm

2024 Academy Award Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film! Winner of Best Animated Independent Feature at the 2024 Annie Awards!

DOG lives in Manhattan and he's tired of being alone. One day he decides to build himself a robot, a companion. Their friendship blossoms, until they become inseparable, to the rhythm of '80s NYC. One summer night, DOG, with great sadness, is forced to abandon ROBOT at the beach.

Will they ever meet again?

CRITIC’S PICK! Robot Dreams leaves us to ponder what its voiceless leads leave unspoken: Is opening our lives to others worth the pain? There will be blubbering and, at the ending, a surge of feelings that can’t be expressed in words.” Amy Nicholson, The New York Times

“If any further evidence were needed to support the theory that we are enjoying a new boom time for quality animation, then this is it.” Wendy Ide, The Guardian

Hundreds of Beavers

Mike Cheslik · 2024
108min · DCP
  • Friday, Mar 15, 2024, 9:30pm
  • Saturday, Mar 16, 2024, 8:30pm
  • Sunday, Mar 17, 2024, 8:15pm
  • Monday, Mar 18, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Saturday, May 4, 2024, 8:00pm
  • Saturday, Jun 1, 2024, 8:30pm
  • Saturday, Jul 13, 2024, 8:30pm

WE GNAW WHAT YOU'RE DOING THIS SUMMER - 3rd encore screening added!

In this 19th century, supernatural winter epic, a drunken applejack salesman must go from zero to hero and become North America’s greatest fur trapper by defeating hundreds of beavers.

Created by Mike Cheslik and Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, the duo behind the modern cult hit LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER (2018).

“Starts strange, gets stranger, and yet remains resolutely adorable… embraces the defiant glee of art cinema and distills it into something so thoroughly pure and sincere that it is surely hard not to fall in love with it.” Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

“It’s sure to develop a significant cult following with its unique mix of silent-era slapstick, animation elements, theme-park-style critter costumes, and general air of inspired absurdity.” Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Steroidally swollen with gags and smarts.” Guy Maddin

Longlegs in 35mm

Osgood Perkins · 2024
101min · 35mm
  • Thursday, Jul 18, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Friday, Jul 19, 2024, 7:15pm
  • Friday, Jul 19, 2024, 9:30pm
  • Saturday, Jul 20, 2024, 7:00pm
  • Sunday, Jul 21, 2024, 3:30pm
  • Sunday, Jul 21, 2024, 8:30pm
  • Monday, Jul 22, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024, 7:30pm
  • Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024, 9:30pm
  • Thursday, Jul 25, 2024, 7:30pm

In pursuit of a serial killer, FBI agent Lee Harker (Maika Monroe) uncovers a series of occult clues that she must solve to end his terrifying killing spree.

“[A] masterpiece; an unholy, horrifying confluence of high art and anxiety, a film in which every frame is a nightmare, and it’s beautiful.” J Hurtado, ScreenAnarchy

Longlegs gets under your skin and stays there, immersing you so thoroughly in the repulsive, discomforting nature of evil through terrifying imagery and a tactile atmosphere that it’s unshakable.” Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting