If you tried stopping by the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill sometime this week for a movie, you might have noticed the venerable venue was closed. The place took a four-day break to remove the old movie theater seats and install brand-new ones. The new seats are larger and more comfortable than the old ones. As a result, there will be fewer places to sit in the theater, but they’ll be much nicer. Patrons have been offered the option of “sponsoring” one of the new seats, having their name (or a loved one’s name) permanently affixed to a brass plaque on the back for a one-time fee. Guild owner Keif Henley says response to this special promotion has been swift and few unsponsored seats are left. (If you’re in the market for eternal glory, hurry up.)
In addition to upgrading its ass parking, Guild Cinema has also put in a whole new lighting system, making it one of the first theaters in the nation to use all LEDs. The new lights are much brighter and more versatile and will allow the theater to function more as a multiuse space—as it will on Saturday, Feb. 11, when local stand-up comedy returns for some late-night laughs. Be sure to drop by the theater when it reopens this Friday, Jan. 13, to check out the new amenities.
The month marks the start of the centennial anniversary of New Mexico’s statehood, and Albuquerque is helping whoop it up with a yearlong celebration. The historic KiMo Theatre in Downtown is doing its part with a 12-month film series, spotlighting movies that were shot right here in the Land of Enchantment. The New Mexico Statehood Centennial Film Series kicks off on Wednesday, Jan. 18, with the 1969 feature Easy Rider. This classic biker film helped launch the American independent film movement and solidified stars Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson as counterculture icons. Shooting locations included Santa Fe, Madrid, Taos and Las Vegas. The centennial film series returns every third Wednesday throughout 2012 with a fine selection of classic cinema: 1930’s Billy the Kid (Feb. 15), 1936’s The Texas Rangers (March 21), 1940’s The Grapes of Wrath (April 18), 1959’s Journey to the Center of the Earth (May 16), 1962’s Lonely Are The Brave (June 20), 1970’s Cheyenne Social Club (July 18), 1976’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (Aug. 15), 1988’s The Milagro Beanfield War (Sept. 19), 1998’s The Hi-Lo Country (Oct. 17), 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma (Nov. 28) and 2007’s No Country For Old Men (Dec. 19). All movies are free and open to the public.