When we lived near Newburgh, NY there was a small, independent movie theater called the Downing Film Center and it was one of our regular hang outs. The Downing was located along the Hudson River waterfront, a revitalized area in the midst of a very run down city of Newburgh. The theater was owned by two retired teachers and was housed in the basement of an old brick building which used to be an art gallery and before that was probably a factory of some kind. There were only about 50-60 seats in the whole place and you had to get their early to get one of the "good chairs." The good chairs were large, came with pillows and reclined a little. The bad chairs were like something you'd sit on in a police station while your statement was being taken. We would often arrive early, sit at the bar across the street, watch the theater out the window and when people started going in we would throw money on the bar, run out and over to the theater to make sure we got a good seat. The Downing had home-made popcorn and you could also bring in your own food and wine if you wanted.
Then when we moved to White Plains, NY and things got fancier. If you have been to this part of New York you know that everything is fancier in Westchester County. While living there we would visit the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. Much more upscale than the Downing, Jacob Burns had multiple screens but showed a lot of unusual movies that you wouldn't find in the regular theater. We liked to go and have lunch at this place by the train station, where the maitre d' was always extremely excited to see us, greeting us like we were long lost cousins, even though we only went there a few times. Following lunch we would walk over the movie.
Given this extensive history, you can imagine how thrilled we were when we first laid eyes on the Bioscope Independent Cinema in downtown Joburg. Shortly after we arrived some friends of friends who live here took us to the market on main in the Maboneng area of Joburg. Maboneng is like a little oasis of gentrification in the much vilified Joburg CBD. Maboneng actually means place of light in Sotho. While we were in Maboneng we saw the cinema and agreed to come back and see a movie there.
Of course life got in the way and we never did go - until this past weekend.
The movie we saw was called Soaked in Bleach and was about the last days of Curt Cobain's life, the front man for the band Nirvana, the biggest rock star for our generation back in the 90s, as well as the reason we all wore a lot of flannel back in the day (and some of us still do.)
Cobain's death had been a ruled a suicide, but the movie casts down on that theory and indicates that he may have been murdered.
The movie was a little bit too TV police drama for me with reenactments of Courtney Love holed (pun intended) up in a hotel room in LA barking out orders to her minions and such, but it was interesting. Mr. Deep really enjoyed the movie, but Mr. Deep as you may know LOVES a good conspiracy theory so the fact that he liked this movie is not a surprise.
I will admit when we were heading down to the theater, we, or at least I was wondering if was a good idea. All of that talk about staying out of the city is in your head and there were people in park keeping warm by a fire in a trash can, lots of burned out buildings and such, all making you think you might turn into a statistic.
We made it safely and had some time to kill so we went to the restaurant next door called the Pata Pata Restaurant. In looking at their website they refer to themselves as an African Diner. What a great place! Mr. Deep ate an Impala leg dinner while we were waiting.
|cork and bottle cap collection at the Pata Pata|
|Impala leg dinner|
|Next time I will have to try the crocodile wors (sausage) with chakalaka|
|A picture of the outside of the theater. I found this online since I didn't take a good one.|
|Just noticing that each seat is named for a movie star. I don't know who Sam Dalais is?|