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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

The Lantern unveils a cinema frozen in time

I typically appreciate the movies that play at the Magic Lantern. From when I started going to the theater, sometime in late 1980 when it was still located in the Atrium Building, I liked its mix of foreign, independent and documentary films.

Back then in particular, you couldn't see such films anywhere else.

Now, of course, things are different. AMC regularly plays the occasional independent film. And with such viewing services as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu — not to mention sites that allow you to see pretty much anything without paying — the need for a theater such as the Magic Lantern is far less necessary.

Still, Spokane is lucky to have such a place that's devoted to showing interesting, illuminating and often educational film on a screen far bigger than anything you could put in a house not owned by Bill Gates.

I'm particularly interested in a film that will be opening there on Friday. "Dawson City: Frozen Time" is a documentary that should intrigue both lovers of classic cinema and those interested in history. Click here to read a review.

The Lantern is a Spokane treasure. It deserves our support, especially when it screens great films.

Below: Filmmaker Bill Morrison explains the value of his work.