Last week Grampa let the Monkey sleep over one night so we could have a Date Night. After being reassured he wouldn't have to sleep alone the Monkey could barely restrain his excitement. I had some mixed emotions - thrilled to have a WHOLE NIGHT to ourselves, but also a little hurt he seemed so happy to ditch the parental units, too. Guess we all needed a little time away from each other.
The Academy was restored in 2006 and continues the River City tradition of cheap second-run movies in funky renovated historical properties that let you drink great microbeers/boutique wines while you watch. Because what's better than a Brew Pub/Wine bar? A Brew Pub/Wine Bar WITH MOVIES!!! The McMenamin brothers may have started it but other independent owners have climbed on board and are taking it to the next level. Cinetopia of course is now the gold standard, what with the super HD screens, live music in the lobby, award-winning fine-dining restaurant and and in-theatre service. But the Academy and other venues (like the Laurelhurst) are comfortably filling the niche in between, serving affordable gourmet grub and limited alcoholic beverages with second-run/art or independent movies at a fraction of the cost of the sticky-floored, outrageously overpriced big movie chains. And due to the liquor licensing laws - no unaccompanied teenagers! Kids are welcome in theatre with their parents, or - even better - many like the Academy offer on-site weekend evening babysitting service for the young ones. Other theatres like McMenamin's Kennedy School offer "Mommy Matinees" for the stay-at-home contingent where you're invited to bring your fussy babies mid-afternoon and nobody complains.