This week’s Spotlight goes to The Whiteside! I finally made it over there for the Wednesday classic movie Edward Scissorhands. It’s one of my mom’s favorite movie ever, so it was a good reason to get everyone out to the movies. I’ve wanted to check the place out for quite some time, I just didn’t put forth the energy. To be fair, most of my time is in Community Theatre lockdown, which is to say, when I go out to watch something, it’s usually a community theatre production.
I love the nostalgic architecture of the building. It feels like what going to the movies should feel like. You’re life is going to change once you hand you ticket to the usher and step through the door. The lobby is a bit tight, especially once you get a good amount of people in there in front of the concessions counter but those behind the counter are super friendly and patient. The lobby is on the list for an expansion which is exciting. I hope they manage to keep the current charm of the place.
They don’t butter the popcorn but they do have a multitude of flavor sprinkling you can add. I usually eat before going but my family likes to get popcorn, candy, and a soda. They also have adult beverages available on the mezzanine level for those who like to take it up a notch.
The auditorium is gigantic. I felt swallowed up the first time I walked in. I looked around and wasn’t drawn to a particular seat. I’m very particular…partly my anxiety and partly…okay totally because of anxiety. Which makes the next part weird because as I was standing there looking up at the gorgeous ceiling, I noticed the balcony seats. I have a fear of heights but was like, let’s go check the balcony! (My poor family. They follow me to “the perfect seats” everywhere we go. If you think about it, since we aren’t supposed to talk during the movie or show, people should really sit wherever they want. It doesn’t HAVE to be next me or in my area. Just saying…)
We head to the staircase, which is neato, except the carpet combined with the dim lighting was making my vision a little weird but I’m weird so it’s probably just me. Anyhoo, as we hit the mezzanine, the temperature increased about 20 degrees. I might be exaggerating but it was significant. I’m not complaining. I LOVE it. I thought to myself, “I might actually be able to take off my jacket and watch a movie/show without freezing to death!” As I followed my family into the lower portion of the balcony, I had the immediate feeling I was going to fall off the edge. Which would have been impossible as I was still standing on the step right below the walkway railing at least 15 feet away from the actual edge. I decided to sit in the higher section in the first row. My family followed suit. One thing about sitting up there is the lack of leg room. I mean seriously, once you wedge your legs in there, don’t plan on getting up or crossing your legs until it’s over. *I don’t know what it’s like sitting in the main sitting area. It looked like the seats were a bit farther apart but I didn’t try them.* It was a cozy experience. Even though I was sitting in a giant auditorium, once the movie started, I was lost in the viewing and didn’t seem to notice my immense surroundings.
There is a pre-movie introduction done by the house manager complete with trivia and giveaways. It’s fun, it gets people in the mood, and it gives those last few people a chance to settle down and get ready. It also connects the audience to the people running the theater. This is a real place run by real people. Not a big box corporate movie theater who doesn’t really care whether you show up or not.
The bathrooms are on the mezzanine which was fine for me but probably not for everyone. The bathrooms are getting a makeover as well with ADA bathrooms coming to the main floor. A much needed improvement.
The movie was good, of course, and I’ve been back since. Same experience. Same balcony seats 🙂 I’ll be back in the future. Ticket prices are $7 for general audience; $6 for students, seniors, and kids; and $5 for members. Pretty reasonable. I need to become a member. There are varying levels of membership available and the perks include discounted prices, free movie tickets, and more. If you like to see movies in the theater, the membership is a good deal, especially if you like to go as a family.
As we left our seats and headed down the stairs, the temperature got colder and I was reminded of the real world cold outside the doors. Luckily, we got there early and procured a parking spot near the front door! Oh, the jollies of finding parking in downtown Corvallis. (My poor family also has to suffer getting to events a considerable amount of time early because my anxiety doesn’t like to be rushed. I’d rather be an 45 minutes to an hour early to get good parking, find my seat, use the restroom or find out where it is if I’m in a new place, and allow my body to acclimate to the space. I’m better once I’ve been to a place a few times but why mess with a good system?)
Check out the website for The Whiteside HERE. Next movie playing is It’s A Wonderful Life (my favorite) on December 15th @ 3 pm. Support your local independent movie house. See a movie, buy concessions, and become a member.