Special Events and Series

16mm Centennial: A Year-Long Series

Throughout all of 2023, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of 16mm film. With specially curated programs featuring 16mm prints, plus 35mm and digital screenings of movies originally shot on 16mm, we’re highlighting the history and extraordinary impact of the humble format that transformed cinema.


  • 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

349688: 2023-12-07 19:30:00
162640: 2023-12-08 18:45:00
350735: 2023-12-08 21:30:00
162640: 2023-12-09 16:00:00
350573: 2023-12-09 19:00:00
327730: 2023-12-09 21:15:00
162640: 2023-12-10 16:00:00
350735: 2023-12-10 19:30:00
162640: 2023-12-11 19:30:00
350788: 2023-12-12 19:00:00
350735: 2023-12-12 21:15:00
350735: 2023-12-13 19:00:00
350788: 2023-12-13 21:15:00

Divinity in 35mm

Eddie Alcazar · 2023
87min · 35mm
Playing Dec 7

Thursday, Dec 7: 7:30 pm

Set in an otherworldly human existence, scientist Sterling Pierce dedicated his life to the quest for immortality, slowly creating the building blocks of a groundbreaking serum named "Divinity." His son, Jaxxon Pierce (Stephen Dorff), now controls and manufactures his father's once-benevolent dream. Society on this barren planet has been entirely perverted by the supremacy of the drug, whose true origins are shrouded in secrecy. Two mysterious brothers arrive with a plan to abduct the mogul, and with the help of a seductive woman named Nikita, they will be set on a path hurtling toward true immortality.

“Shot in raw black and white 16mm, Divinity is a unique visual spectacle that subverts the sleek, macho sci-fi action of ‘90s Albert Pyun with a strong dose of gender politics and an experimental, industrial sensibility. Punctuated by a pulsating soundtrack from DJ Muggs [along with frequent David Lynch collaborator, Dean Hurley], and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, Divinity is a wildly ambitious, lo-fi post-apocalyptic satire.” Lori Donnelly, Fantastic Fest

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

Eraserhead meets Frankenstein by way of a perfume ad… the kind of movie that would be projected on the wall at the coolest nightclub where the meanest kids in town go.” Dais Johnston, Inverse

It’s a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra · 1946
130min · 35mm
Playing Dec 8 through Dec 28

Friday, Dec 8: 6:45 pm
Saturday, Dec 9: 4:00 pm
Sunday, Dec 10: 4:00 pm
Monday, Dec 11: 7:30 pm
Thursday, Dec 14: 7:00 pm
Friday, Dec 15: 6:45 pm
Saturday, Dec 16: 3:00 pm
Sunday, Dec 17: 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Dec 19: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Dec 20: 7:00 pm
Thursday, Dec 21: 7:00 pm
Friday, Dec 22: 7:00 pm
Saturday, Dec 23: 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm
Sunday, Dec 24: 3:00 pm
Tuesday, Dec 26: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Dec 27: 7:00 pm
Thursday, Dec 28: 7:00 pm

This cinema’s 53rd consecutive engagement on 35mm film! (But please know that a few showings may be digitally projected due to staffing). Playing through December 28th!

Showtimes for Christmas Day will be posted soon, pending staff availability.

“It’s a great — really great — film, so densely well made that to watch any three minutes is to realize how paltry the vast majority of movies are by comparison.” Richard T. Jameson

“The epiphany of movie sentiment and a transcendent experience.” Dave Kehr


The Monday, 12/11, screening is pay-what-you-can.

On Wednesday, 12/20, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration in memory of writer Jim Caple. In October 2023, we lost a wonderful man, a brilliant sportswriter, and a dedicated cinephile in Jim Caple. Dating back to the early 1980s, friends and family describe being introduced to It’s A Wonderful Life, one of Jim’s favorite films, when, first as a UW student, later as a world traveler, he would bring folks to the Grand Illusion for a holiday viewing. In Jim’s memory a portion of the proceeds from this screening will be donated to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, an organization, as described by Jim’s wife Vicki Shuman, that provided support and information about Jim’s diagnosis and help for both of them to navigate the day-to-day.

Please note: As of this time, all screenings listed so far will be on 35mm except the following, which will be projected digitally and will still look fabulous!

  • Saturday, December 16 3:00 PM

It’s a Wonderful Knife

Tyler MacIntyre · 2023
90min · DCP
Playing Dec 8 through Dec 13

Friday, Dec 8: 9:30 pm
Sunday, Dec 10: 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Dec 12: 9:15 pm
Wednesday, Dec 13: 7:00 pm

After saving her town from a psychotic killer, Winnie Carruthers' life is less than wonderful. When she wishes she'd never been born, she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe where without her, things could be much, much worse.

“An unabashedly Queer delight… This grisly gift was a pleasure to unwrap, a ruby red love letter to both the holiday season and a high-concept horror chestnut that spans multiple generations. I couldn’t have asked Santa for more.” Sara Michelle Fetters, Seattle Gay News

It’s A Wonderful Knife has plenty of attributes—charm, blood, and angst—that should fit right in at any family holiday gathering.” Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com

The Big Heat

Fritz Lang · 1953
89min · DCP
Playing Dec 9

Saturday, Dec 9: 7:00 pm

70TH ANNIVERSARY! And the centenary of Gloria Grahame's birth... just a week and a half removed from her 100th birthday!

A dark masterpiece of film noir, pantheon director Fritz Lang's excoriating THE BIG HEAT takes an unflinching look at the endemic corruption of small-town America, pitting a tough cop (Glenn Ford) against the forces of evil represented by a syndicate boss (Alexander Scourby) and his all-too-obedient flunkies within the police force. Gloria Grahame co-stars, indelibly, as a gangster's moll with a decent heart, exploited by both good guys and bad; and Lee Marvin makes a terrifying early appearance as a thug whose sharp clothes and fancy apartment do little to conceal his animalistic nature. It's a wonderful noir!

“The film is drum-tight, directed with muscular clarity and force.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“A definitive film noir… it’s designed in light and shadows, and its underworld atmosphere glistens with the possibilities of sadism…” Pauline Kael

“The film is as deceptive and two-faced as anything Lang ever made, with its sunny domestic tranquility precariously separated from a world of violence… That’s the beauty of Lang’s moral ambidexterity. He tells the story of a heroic cop, while using it to mask another story, so much darker, beneath.” Roger Ebert

Cade: The Tortured Crossing

Neil Breen · 2023
96min · digital
Playing Dec 9 through Dec 30

Saturday, Dec 9: 9:15 pm
Saturday, Dec 30: 9:15 pm

The new film from independent filmmaker Neil Breen, director of FATEFUL FINDINGS and TWISTED PAIR!

Neil Breen stars as an identical twin brother who restores an old mysterious mental asylum. He takes it upon himself to mystically train the patients as warriors for humanity and justice.

Final showing added!

In accordance with our agreement with Mr. Breen, and in support of a true indie filmmaker, we are unable to offer member pricing or discounts for these screenings.

“Neil Breen’s movies… [are] undeniably his, and you won’t see anything else like them.” Gena Radcliffe, The Spool

“The movie is a miracle.” Tyler Hummel, Geeks Under Grace

Anna and the Apocalypse

John McPhail · 2018
93min · DCP
Playing Dec 12 through Dec 18

Tuesday, Dec 12: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Dec 13: 9:15 pm
Friday, Dec 15: 9:30 pm
Sunday, Dec 17: 9:00 pm
Monday, Dec 18: 7:30 pm

A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

“An entertaining blast of fresh air that just happens to include a fine spray of blood.” Tasha Robinson, The Verge

“This multigenre hybrid has more than enough good cheer to get viewers through another holiday season on this troubled planet.” Pat Padua, The Washington Post

Coming Soon

349688: 2023-12-07 19:30:00
162640: 2023-12-08 18:45:00
350735: 2023-12-08 21:30:00
162640: 2023-12-09 16:00:00
350573: 2023-12-09 19:00:00
327730: 2023-12-09 21:15:00
162640: 2023-12-10 16:00:00
350735: 2023-12-10 19:30:00
162640: 2023-12-11 19:30:00
350788: 2023-12-12 19:00:00
350735: 2023-12-12 21:15:00
350735: 2023-12-13 19:00:00
350788: 2023-12-13 21:15:00
162640: 2023-12-14 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-15 18:45:00
350788: 2023-12-15 21:30:00
162640: 2023-12-16 15:00:00
350917: 2023-12-16 19:00:00
350915: 2023-12-16 19:00:00
352618: 2023-12-16 21:30:00
162640: 2023-12-17 15:00:00
162640: 2023-12-17 18:00:00
350788: 2023-12-17 21:00:00
350788: 2023-12-18 19:30:00
162640: 2023-12-19 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-20 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-21 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-22 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-23 16:00:00
162640: 2023-12-23 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-24 15:00:00
162640: 2023-12-26 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-27 19:00:00
162640: 2023-12-28 19:00:00
350904: 2023-12-29 19:30:00
350904: 2023-12-30 16:00:00
350904: 2023-12-30 19:00:00
327730: 2023-12-30 21:15:00
350904: 2023-12-31 16:00:00
350904: 2024-01-01 19:30:00
350904: 2024-01-02 19:30:00
350904: 2024-01-03 19:30:00
350904: 2024-01-04 19:30:00
352889: 2024-01-05 19:30:00
352889: 2024-01-06 16:30:00
352884: 2024-01-06 19:00:00
352889: 2024-01-07 14:00:00
352884: 2024-01-07 16:00:00
352889: 2024-01-07 19:30:00
352884: 2024-01-08 19:00:00
352889: 2024-01-09 19:30:00
352884: 2024-01-10 19:00:00
352889: 2024-01-11 19:30:00

Kooky Christmas Classics from the Something Weird Vault

100min · 16mm
Playing Dec 16

Saturday, Dec 16: 7:00 pm

Ring in the Holiday Season with some of Something Weird's favorite vintage shorts and oddities, all presented on glorious 16mm film straight from the vault! And Santa's little helper, Something Weird's Lisa Petrucci, will be there to host this holiday extravaganza!

Celebrate Jesus’ birthday the way it was intended – with greedy kids clamoring for presents, creepy guys in bad Santa Claus suits, toys running amok, and a cacophony of weird and wonderful sights and sounds! Brace yourselves: there will be lots of puppets, stop-motion animation, cartoons, and other creaky old celluloid that exemplify this magical time of year. These Kooky Christmas Classics are sure to delight, disturb, and put you in a merry mood! Be there, or risk Santa leaving coal in your stocking!

Part of our 16mm Centennial Celebration Series!

VHS Uber Alles Dec ’23

89min · VHS
Playing Dec 16

Saturday, Dec 16: 9:30 pm

Three rad and witchy 80s teen girls botch their anti-Christmas candle ritual in the woods, awakening a long-dormant bloodthirsty elf. The Elf kicks off his murderous rampage by stomping on over to the local mall to kill Santa. Coincidentally, our three ladies are having an after-hours sexy sleepover party that night… The bloodbath continues! Brought back this year by popular demand, we can only hope this bonkers piece of only-available-on-VHS Christmas carnage becomes part of your holiday traditions.

“In addition to the wacky plot, this one has lots of profanity, lots of bad taste, lots of bad acting, lots of quotable terrible dialogue, lots of hideous 80s hair and clothes, a little gore and even some nudity…It’s all pretty awful, yet entertaining nonetheless.” Random 3/10 IMDb Reviewer

“Do you want to see a perverted department store Santa killed by a mutant elf who stabs him repeatedly in the genitalia? See this movie.” Random 9/10 IMDb Reviewer

“Twas the night before Christmas, And all through the town, Blood-thirsty Elves are about to get down!” Actual VHS Box Quote


All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt

Raven Jackson · 2023
92min · DCP
Playing Dec 29 through Jan 4

Friday, Dec 29: 7:30 pm
Saturday, Dec 30: 4:00 pm, 7:00 pm
Sunday, Dec 31: 4:00 pm
Monday, Jan 1: 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Jan 2: 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Jan 3: 7:30 pm
Thursday, Jan 4: 7:30 pm

A lyrical, decades-spanning exploration across a woman’s life in Mississippi, the feature debut from award-winning poet, photographer and filmmaker Raven Jackson is a haunting and richly layered portrait, a beautiful ode to the generations of people and places that shape us.

CRITIC’S PICK! Exquisite use of close-ups, fluid editing and a deeply observant sound design renders [protagonist] Mack’s story tactile but also poetic, making plain that the salt here is the stuff of tears, the stuff of sorrows and of joys.” Lisa Kennedy, New York Times

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt is a treasure of community, a bold depiction of Black life, and a sumptuously crafted piece of personal storytelling.” Robert Daniels, The Playlist

Fallen Leaves

Aki Kaurismäki · 2023
81min · DCP
Playing Jan 5 through Jan 11

Friday, Jan 5: 7:30 pm
Saturday, Jan 6: 4:30 pm
Sunday, Jan 7: 2:00 pm, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, Jan 9: 7:30 pm
Thursday, Jan 11: 7:30 pm

Award-winning filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return with FALLEN LEAVES, a timeless, hopeful and ultimately satisfying love story about two lonely souls’ path to happiness – and the numerous hurdles they encounter along the way. Set in contemporary Helsinki, and shot through with Kaurismäki’s typically playful, idiosyncratic style and deadpan humor, this tender romantic tragicomedy is a timely reminder of the potency of movie-going from one of cinema’s living legends. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

In Finnish with English subtitles.

CRITIC’S PICK! Modestly scaled and tonally perfect, Fallen Leaves opens in a fluorescent hell-on-earth and ends with a vision of something like paradise.” Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Kaurismäki works magic with understatement, especially in Fallen Leaves, possibly his greatest film.” Stephanie Zacharek, TIME

The Abyss: Special Edition – 4K Restoration

James Cameron · 1989
171min · 4K DCP
Playing Jan 6 through Jan 10

Saturday, Jan 6: 7:00 pm
Sunday, Jan 7: 4:00 pm
Monday, Jan 8: 7:00 pm
Wednesday, Jan 10: 7:00 pm

Before he re-sank the RMS Titanic and staged grand naval battles in the oceans of Pandora, James Cameron stared into THE ABYSS in this film steeped in the frightful fascination of the world beneath the waves, about a civilian diving team led by Virgil "Bud" Brigman (Ed Harris) and estranged wife Lindsey (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) who, along with their Navy SEAL escort, come face to face with an alien undersea species while searching for a missing nuclear submarine. Pressured by studio brass to bring down his film’s runtime upon its initial release in 1989, Cameron would restore nearly a half hour of footage to the April 1993 LaserDisc release of THE ABYSS: SPECIAL EDITION, presented here in a new 4K restoration just over 30 years later.

“Colossally ambitious, this logistically boggling and technically brilliant film from writer-director James Cameron is a visual tour de force, featuring overall, the greatest underwater sequences ever seen on film.” Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter