It doesn’t have a shopping-mall parking lot. There is no digital concessions menu showing a ribbon of bright-yellow cheese cascade over a tray of huge chips in HD.
It doesn’t have a separate bar or restaurant, an arcade or a handball court. The seats are less Barcalounger, more Greyhound bus. It doesn’t show Hollywood trivia and commercials before every screening. The Fine Arts Theater shows films, two at a time.
This is more than sufficient, at least according to Xpress readers who voted the venerable downtown movie house the Best Movie Theater in WNC for the eighth straight year. In addition to the regular cycle of mostly small-run films, the Fine Arts hosted several one-night-only events this year.
Notable 2010 screenings included an extended version of the 1997 documentary Chuck Close, about the painter of the same name; the Jewish Film Festival; and local films Passenger Pigeons, Solatrium and Wanderlost.
A fun activity for a rainy day (if you’ve already seen the latest film at the Fine Arts): Every film the theater has shown since opening in 1996 is listed on their website. Depending on how long you’ve lived here, the list annotates a decade-and-a-half of cinema memories.
— Jaye Bartell