Few can argue that it’s fun to watch a multi-million dollar Hollywood actionfest of a movie, but occasionally it’s nice to watch a film that requires more than three working brain cells to understand the plot. Thank the film gods that there are places in Salt Lake City that tend to agree. The Broadway and The Tower are two theaters that exclusively cater to true film aficionados and are both are operated by the Salt Lake Film Society.
The Broadway is located downtown on 111 E and Broadway (easy to remember). Walking in it feels like a traditional movie theater, with the exception being that instead of showing the big blockbusters, The Broadway caters to the independent and foreign film crowd. The theater has sported films that became mainstream such as Napoleon Dynamite and Black Swan, as well as hidden wonders like Let Me In and Another Earth. The Broadway is also proud to be an official venue for the Sundance Film Festival, which is one of the world’s biggest independent film festivals.
The Tower, which is The Broadway’s spiritual sister, is located in the trendy 9th and 9th area at 876 East 900 South. Like The Broadway, it also screens a host of independent and foreign films for its discerning audience. In addition to that, The Tower also rents an extremely wide variety of cassettes and DVDs. Many of the films being rented match the criteria of The Broadway and The Tower, including tons of independent and obscure films. Cinematic classics sadly being forgotten by history like Soylent Green and Clockwork Orange can be found amongst fantastic foreign films and the hauntingly beautiful silent wonders. A unique feature to all of this is that the films themselves aren’t organized based on “Action” or “Children”, but are mostly categorized under the titles “Great Directors,” “Foreign,” and “Gay and Lesbian.” Rentals are $3.20 per video with a two for the price of one deal on Mondays. This makes it so that film lovers can easily have an amazing cinematic experience from their own homes.
Running both these monumental Salt Lake cinema landmarks is the Salt Lake Film Society. For years the society has strived to keep independent film alive in Salt Lake City. Some of the films premiered at The Broadway and The Tower would never appear in the entire state if it wasn’t for the society. Independent festivals, such as last year’s Salty Horror Film Festival, also probably wouldn’t be possible if not for this innovative and creative team of people.
The greatest thing about cinema is how varied it really is. It’s good to remember that for every Transformers 3 and Horrible Bosses there are at least ten incredible independent films that, without these historic landmarks and dedicated movie lovers, Salt Lake may never have.