In an age of impersonal, high-tech multiplexes, old-time movie theaters still feel as charming as ever. Housed in a beautiful historic building with a retro marquee, Ark Lodge Cinemas works hard to keep that vintage charm. After a rocky start as a movie theater under a different management, and a 17-month closure, Ark Lodge reopened in December 2012 under the ownership of the McRae family, veterans of the movie theater business (the Cine-Mond in Redmond).
The revival of the former Masonic Lodge building into a movie theater even earned a nod from Seattle Weekly as 2013's Best Arts Comeback. At Ark Lodge, family-friendly animated films, action-packed blockbusters, and high-brow art-house films are digitally projected on three screens, giving parents a lighthearted escape, and giving kids a chance to ponder the implications of post-apocalyptic existence. The staff also engages the community with campy classics during Dark Lodge Theater nights.
Ark Lodge begins its second year with a renewed sense of a stake in the community, branching out to start and build relationships with day care and child development centers, social service organizations and community groups in and around Columbia City, the polyglot Seattle neighborhood designated in 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau as the most ethnically diverse ZIP code (98118) in the United States.