Stanford’s (Not-So)-Hidden Treasure

Posted by at 10:29PM

I am not a movie buff. Or, at least, I didn’t used to be. Then, I decided to draw with a guy that this is, was, and always will be obsessed with film. Whether it’s dreaming in the unique worlds of Michel Gondry or exalting the narrative genius of a Wallace and Gromit short, Jack’s love of movies makes Leonard Maltin seem like a first year film student. And, clearly, it has rubbed off on me, for I have found a new obsession: The Stanford Theatre.
My love affair with this unique venue started, as most good things do, on a whim. I was taking a stroll down University, having just left campus on a Saturday afternoon around 3:30. Upon seeing a line outside the theater, my eyes looked up to find Dail “M” for Murder (1954) and Sabrina (1954) on the marquee. Having never seen either, but a fan of both Hitchcock and Hepburn, and with no plans for the evening, I decided to seize the opportunity and duck in for an old film. Much to my (unemployed) pleasure, I immediately found out on of the theater’s greatest attributes: it’s affordable! With a $7 ticket granting admission to both films and cheap concessions (popcorn, a drink, and candy all for under $5), this is easily the cheapest romantic date around (and about the only affordable thing to do on University!).
Beyond that, the theater itself is absolutely stunning, with comfortable seats, a balcony view, and even live organ music before and after the 7:30 showing. Add in a diverse mix of patrons and the nostalgic posters and cinema paraphernalia on display in the lobby, and you’ve got one of the move unique and delightful movie-going experiences this side of Cannes.
Just today, I was back for more with the no-so-politically-correct The Jungle Princess (1936) and monster-classic Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), before which the organist played Bach’s eerie “Tocatta and Fugue.” I’m not quite sure how long I’ll keep up my old movie obsession, but one thing’s for sure: I now know where to get my fix.
THIS WEEKEND be sure to catch Citizen Kane (1941) at 3:35 and 7:30 followed by The Maltese Falcon (1941) at 5:20 and 9:00. Also, remember that this Saturday and Sunday is the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts (10:00am to 6:00pm), which will take over University Avenue in a display of art, wine, and music. It should be very fun.

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One Response to “Stanford’s (Not-So)-Hidden Treasure”

  1. Min says:

    i haven’t been inside theatre.. ever! definitely look forward to going when a showing of roman holiday or breakfast at tiffany’s comes up :)

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