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See you at the movies?

If drive-ins, outdoor screenings and virtual theaters are working, why does the prospect of cinema in the time of COVID still feel futile?

Story and photos by Michael J. Casey

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t’s Tuesday at 3 p.m. outside the Century Theater in Boulder’s Twenty Ninth Street Mall, and it’s quiet. Too quiet. You’ll have to excuse the cliché, but it fits. This courtyard should be filled with voices of patrons coming and going, taking advantage of Discount Day and talking about movies: What they saw, what they plan to see next and what movie the New York Times recommended as the must-see for the season. But it’s not. It’s desolate. Only a handmade sign taped to the door directing deliveries to the back suggests that a person might have business here. Those doors, caked in dirt and grime, were locked almost five months ago and haven’t opened since. “Now Playing” movie posters for Parasite, Onward, The Way Back, Greed and a dozen more — their text faded, their colors bleached by daily blasts of sunshine — flank the doors like ghostly remnants. Ten yards back, two escalators endlessly grind on, the mechanical whine of metal on metal as they transport no one and nothing while the wind whistles eerily through the hollow parking garage. Standing here feels like you’ve walked into the opening of Once Upon a Time in the West, but with fewer horses. “We’re doing good right now,” Kathy Beeck says. “It’s just everything in the future is a big question mark.” Beeck, who produces the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) with her sister Robin, is excited. And with good reason: Back in June, they launched the BIFF Drive-In at the Boulder Municipal Airport. With a 40-foot screen and enough space for 160 cars, BIFF’s drive-in features live music alongside a movie every Saturday night, from now

AUGUST 6, 2020

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BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

Profile for Boulder Weekly

Boulder Weekly 8.6.2020  

Evictions, homelessness, news, US Postal Service, Adventure, Road cycling, movie theaters, buzz, virtual events, Story slam, documentary fes...

Boulder Weekly 8.6.2020  

Evictions, homelessness, news, US Postal Service, Adventure, Road cycling, movie theaters, buzz, virtual events, Story slam, documentary fes...

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