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Sundance Cinemas Houston

Submitted by MBergeron on November 22, 2011 – 12:14 amNo Comment

Leon casino, Sundance Cinemas Houston opened in grand style Monday, November 21, 2011. The libations, munchies and movies flowed like wine. No Label brewery out of Katy was serving pints of their pale ale and dark wheat brews. An open bar was serving spirits including many theme drinks taking their inspiration from current films. You can just imagine how the Breaking Dawn is concocted.

Monday night’s festivities raised awareness for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston film program and the Cinema Arts Houston Film Festival. A similar opening occurs Tuesday night and the theater officially opens Wednesday morning. Robert Redford wasn’t there in person but his video pre-recorded speech (made from a movie set in Vancouver) wowed the crowd (on a big screen in the Sundance’s lobby).

The main foyer has been divided by wooden beams that allow the audience to mingle and gnosh at wooden tables. In fact there’s a heavy accent on wood throughout the theater’s design. Cubby holes and spaces with comfortable sofas and chair abound.

After boosting the energy level and schmoozing for a couple of hours the Sundance ran some of their opening day films at 8 pm. Movies that the Sundance opens on 11/23 include Lars von Trier’s Melancholia and Scorsese’s Hugo 3D. The Sundance is equipped with 3D for the full enjoyment of films in that format.

The theater’s themselves are brand spanking new, the smell of paint but a faint odor of the work that’s been put into the renovation on the space that was formerly occupied by another cinematic tenant. Chair space is wide with upholstered armrests, plus there are wide wooden extensions to every other seat to put a sandwich or a plate of something from the lobby restaurant. This establishment is so pristine you don’t want to purposely spill popcorn on the floor. As with any new theater the projection equipment astounds you with its crystal clear imagery.

In more sense than one, the Sundance Cinemas Houston is providing what the Angelika chain had before: art films, foreign films, and documentaries wedged in with the current blockbuster du jour. It’s up to Houstonians to step up to bat and support this theater whether it’s running the latest Michael Bay film or the recent indie fave.

- Michael Bergeron

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