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Best Movie Theater

The Loft Cinema
3233 E. Speedway

READERS' PICK: Ever heard that expression, "It's the little things that make life worth living?" Sure you have, and if you're anything like us you'll probably agree that, like all clichés, it's at least partly true. We're thinking here of that dusky-pink color in the western sky just as the sun sets over the Tucson mountains, or self-adhesive stamps, or kittens...you get the idea. As with all good ideas, though, context is everything. Take, for example, the multiplex. Tiny drinks, tiny seats, tiny screens, and tinier plot lines have reduced the once-hallowed experience of movie-going to something akin to a stick in the eye (and the pocketbook, for that matter). Luckily for us, there is an alternative: The Loft Cinema, which continues to offer the best in foreign and independent films for less than a five-spot, as well as monthly midnight screenings of that doggedly popular cult classic, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (ensemble cast included). But best of all, it's huge.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Century Theatres Multiplexes, (1055 W. Grant Road; and 770 N. Kolb Road.)

A REAL SCREAM: Hankering for a creature feature, an obscure documentary, or maybe some seldom-seen classic? Whatever your yen, you're apt to find something of interest at Tucson's rarest cinematic gem, The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress St. Located between the new Theater Congress and Dinnerware Cooperative Artists Gallery, this slim little downtown movie house counts a modest gallery and super-cheap snacks among its amenities, in addition to offering some of the most interesting movie-going money can buy. Whether it be an evening of student-made shorts, an entry in the annual Arizona International Film Festival, or a month-long series celebrating the work of some renowned European director, The Screening Room's eclectic fare is sure to entertain, edify and enlighten.

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