Things to do while stoned: Visit The Grand Cinema for a Weird Elephant flick

Weird Elephant. It just sounds great, doesn’t it? We’ll get to that in just a moment.

Sprinkled throughout this article are several quotes that refer to specific films of a type that Weird Elephant might show / has shown and will be annotated. Keep a mental guess at the source film. The key to the source films is at the bottom of the article, so grab yourself some coffee “black as midnight on a moonless night1” and have a read through about one of the hidden/not-so-hidden gems of our city.

Tucked in near 6th on Fawcett St, at the northwest edge of the downtown core of Tacoma is The Grand Cinema. 606 Fawcett Ave is the address. A map is below. Their website states:

“The Grand Cinema is the South Sound’s nonprofit home for independent, international, and local film. As the only nonprofit cinema in Pierce County, we are committed to enhancing the cultural vitality of the community through quality film and educational programming.

The Grand Cinema enriches lives and enhances the cultural vitality of the Greater Tacoma community through the art of film.

We achieve our mission through these objectives:

  • Encouraging passion for film for all audiences
  • Providing a high-quality theater experience
  • Educating the community about film”

Their mission and passion really kind of “tied the whole room together2“, despite the fact that “The Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own.3

Well, we’ve advertised on screen at The Grand Cinema for well over two years at this point. We’ve run static ads prior to film, and a couple months a year we run our video ads that you see around our website, YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, as bumpers to late evening, adult audience-oriented films (R rated, or more serious movies). I love our partners at The Grand Cinema. We expanded our sponsorship to include the Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) in 2019, sponsoring the VR booth. This past year, we sponsored the Short Films lineup at The Grand’s TFF. This year, we will sponsor Weird Elephant.

“Back to the beginning Vincini4“: Weird Elephant. It just sounds great, doesn’t it?

Yeah, it does. This is the Cult Classics section of The Grand Cinema. Films overlooked by critics that found a devoted fanbase on the edge of weird, campiness, great stories/acting (or absence thereof), sometimes vision well executed despite massive budget constraints, or oft times just a damn fine movie. Maybe the sort of movie that when your husband walks in, you fumble for the remote and say “Go away, Bill, you’re embarrassing me5.”

Several of our employees enjoy The Grand Cinema on a weekly basis. This theater is a smaller sort of setting, so it is, as many other theaters are – mask required – but please note that it is also vaccine required. I understand that we all get to make choices about this, but I want to be up front so that we don’t have any miscommunication about this. If you cannot prove that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and its associated variants, you will not be allowed in. “You’re sorry. I’m sorry. Everyone’s sorry6.” <continued below….>

February 25th & 26th

March 11th & 12th​

March 25th & 26th

So. It’s black history month. Well, tonight (February 12th) at 10pm, You can see The Last Dragon, which is relevant to black film production. Released in 1982, it checks many of the boxes for a Weird Elephant pick. Tickets for all Weird Elephant presentations sponsored by House of Cannabis can be found here. Click “Buy Tickets” on the top right of that page, and then scroll to find your showing. Weird Elephant is scheduled out months in advance, whereas the house showings are weekly… so halfway down the list it becomes ALL Weird Elephant showings.

I highly recommend you check out the movie calendar on the upcoming schedule and get down there to see a flick and score a discount card to House of Cannabis, from the lobby. At $12 for non-members / $9.50 for members (inquire at the front desk), it’s a steal. In fact, “THAT’S BUS FARE!7“.

Go enjoy of the gems of this town. Go enjoy The Grand Cinema.


Oh, and here are the movie answers:

1 Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLachlan) in Twin Peaks
The Dude (Jeff Bridges) in The Big Lebowski
General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in Dr. Strangelove (or how I learned to love the bomb)
The Inego Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) in The Princess Bride
Little Bill’s Wife (Nina Hartley) in Boogie Nights
Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter) in Fight Club
Dr. Daniel Jekyll (Mark Blankfield) in Jekyll & Hyde Together Again

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