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Violet Crown Cinema

Posted: June 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Restaurant Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Violet Crown Cinema, in downtown Austin, is a place I would call another local gem. My wife and I don’t go downtown that often anymore, which is the only reason I can imagine it took us so long to discover it. (Violet Crown has been open for a bit more than a year now.) The cinema shows independent films in four small theaters with very comfortable seats. They are also built so there really are no bad seats in the house and are stadium style so you don’t have to worry about tall people in front of you. We saw Bernie to celebrate her birthday and had a fantastic time.

The cinema has a snack bar which includes an espresso bar, hummus, and vegetable snacks in addition to the traditional popcorn and soda. The theater also has a cafe, lounge, and bar. Arrive early, enjoy food and drinks. And take anything you want into the theater where the seats have small fold-out tables. I understand if you don’t have time to get your food before the movie starts, they will give you a pager so you can go get it when it’s ready. Unlike places like the Alamo, there is no food and drink service in the theater, but the way their theater is arranged, that’s not really an issue.

The menu is not large, but it clearly marks the gluten free options. There aren’t many options, but it’s a small menu anyway. Moreover, since nothing else is fried, the sweet potato chips and hand cut fries are gluten free! No cross-contamination concerns. I had the sweet potato chips and they were delicious.

My wife and I will definitely be returning in the future. If you live in the area and like independent films, then give Violet Crown Cinema a try. I highly recommend it.


Posted: June 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Movie Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Bernie

BernieBernie is retelling of the story of a murder in 1996 in Carthage, TX. The film flips back and forth between a narrative storyline and faux documentary style interviews with Carthage residents about Bernie and the crime. I was impressed by how well the director meshed the two forms together to create what feels like a seamless flow.

The actors, of course, are top-notch and don’t disappoint, but I found the way they captured East Texas life (which is more like the northern Louisiana where I was born and spent about a third of my childhood than it is the rest of Texas) in the interspersed fictionalized interviews with Carthage residents even more entertaining. I think anyone who has ever lived in a small Southern town will immediately recognize in those residents some of the same sort of people they have known.

Despite its subject matter, the film is hilarious. Anyone who can get through the film without cracking up at least a few times might just be a Marjorie Nugent. It’s an independent film, so it’s not going to have the distribution of a major blockbuster, but if you can see it in a theater, I recommend doing so. If not, I suppose there’s always the DVD.

Pay attention early in the film to the description of the regions of Texas by the Carthage resident. If you know Texas, you’ll smile knowingly and at least chuckle at a few points. If you don’t know Texas, it will give you some insight into our state.

Enjoy the trailer and see the movie. Bernie gets two thumbs up!