Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coming soon: Louisville Vanguard Cinema ... and good beer there, too.

When you look in the dictionary under “adaptive reuse”, there should be a picture of Louisville’s Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, now comprised of 360,000 square feet of arts-related space located in what used to be the early 20th-century complex of the Fischer Meat Packing Company, including studios, galleries, retail shops and rehearsal spaces. Mellwood Arts is a sprawling warren of testament to the power of creativity, and long may it surprise and prosper.

The latest addition to Mellwood Arts is on the drawing board: Louisville Vanguard Cinema.

The Louisville Vanguard Cinema, the only local dine-in, drink-in, dual-screen independent cinema is counting on the public to make the dream a reality. Cities across the country from Austin, Chicago, and Portland to Asheville NC and Springfield MO have their own cinema drafthouses showing quality artistic films – why not Louisville? Don’t we deserve to join their ranks?

The web site provides this encouraging quote from German writer, playwright and director Bertolt Brecht:

"A theater without beer is just a museum."

Back in 1989, I spent evenings during the month of August drinking tasty Wernesgruner Pilsner not too far away from Brecht’s Berliner Ensemble theater, and so I feel qualified to add that in this day and time, a theater with swill alone is just another place to pay homage to the nefarious megabrewing multinationals.

Luckily, we're told more:

The food will be innovative - often reflecting the themes of the current film offerings. The food, spirit, beer, and wine choices will feature local and regional production.

Now that's soundtrack music to my ears. "Local and regional production" firmly implies craft beer, and you know I’m for that.

In fairness, I was treated to a bit of insider's information about this project in the run-up to the unveiling, and by all accounts it's a keeper, indeed. Let’s hope they find the backing needed, and I'll just say that I’m looking forward to food and beer that match and enhance the overall cinematic theme, and may well have to begin watching more movies.

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