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Where style meets cinema

DAVID HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Loft, located on Speedway Boulevard east of Country Club Road, plays non-mainstream movies, while other theaters play more popular movies. Every Saturday night at midnight, The Loft plays the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," a cult film from 1975 that encourages audience participation.
By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
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Whether frat boy or hipster, there's a big screen with your name writ large

Any student at the UA needs to know three crucial things: where Campus Health is located, how to get a fake ID and where the movie theaters are.

Campus Health is located at 1224 E. Lowell St.

I don't know how to get a fake ID. If I did, I wouldn't know so much about movie theaters in Tucson. Tragic.

Tucson has a slew of mainstream movie theaters. Most of them, however, are located inside malls, a trend that lost its charm about a decade ago. But then, outdated buildings and misguided trends are part of what make Tucson so charming.

First, there's El Con Theater, which is located within the El Con Mall (3601 E. Broadway Blvd.). To call this cluster of buildings a mall would be a stretch. People only find themselves at El Con for two reasons. The first is the movie theater, and second is the drive-thru Krispy Kreme. Otherwise, the mall is left well enough alone.

The other mainstream movie theater that students go to is found at the Park Place Mall (5870 E. Broadway Blvd.). Park Place Mall is actually a place where people can shop, unlike El Con. Students can buy something nice for themselves and then go see an action movie. Make a day of it, I say.

Related links
Gallagher Theater

The Loft

It's important to know that both El Con and Park Place Theaters don't have a student discount. It's a bummer, to be sure.

The cheap theater is nothing to look down upon, especially if you're on a budget that an $8.75 ticket doesn't fit into. Movies at the Crossroads Festival (4811 E. Grant Road) may be old and outdated, but beggars can't be choosers. At $3 a ticket, it's certainly an alternative to consider.

On the same token, the Gallagher Theater, located inside the Student Union Memorial Center, shows movies for $3 a pop. The theater's atmosphere is quite fun, as the audience is mainly with UA students ... unless the movie is "Lord of the Rings," in which case the crowd's makeup is something entirely different.

Gallagher Theater also shows previews of upcoming movies for free. Tickets are handed out about a week before a preview, so keep an eye out for those opportunities.

There is one drive-in movie theater in Tucson: Deanza Theater (1401 S. Alvernon Way). I've never gotten into the drive-in movie thing. But for those shameless souls who are into that scene, check it out.

For those of us who like to believe that we are part of the upper echelon of moviegoers, there are more options than one would think. There are a couple of theaters to fulfill any indie geek's hankering for artsy and independent movies in Tucson.

The movie theater closest to campus is on Campbell Avenue and Grant Road. Catalina Cinemas shows independent, foreign and midnight movies. It's a tad expensive because it's sans a student discount. But it's usually worth it given the caliber of the movies it shows.

Hands down, the best movies in town are shown at one theater: The Loft (3233 E. Speedway Blvd.). Whether its independent, foreign or local, The Loft will bring the most entertaining and artsy films to Tucson. Plus, it is one of the only theaters in Tucson that offers a student discount. The movies are only $4, and if that's not a reason to party, I honestly don't know what is.

If you're looking to rent a video instead of watching one on the big screen, you might want to check out Casa Video (2905 E. Speedway Blvd.). It offers an awesome selection of independent, foreign, samurai, documentary, blaxploitation, cult, old skool, horror and some mainstream films. Definitely check it out if you don't want to be stuck watching "the Lizzie Maguire Movie" for the eighth time.

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