And the winner is … The Canton Palace Theatre

by Judi Christy

Admittedly, I am no critic. Well, not officially. But, every year, I do enjoy watching the films nominated as BEST PICTURE by the Academy of Arts and Sciences. And, when I say “watching the films,” I mean sitting in the velvety seats of the Canton Palace Theatre while cozied up with a bag of unbuttered popcorn and a plastic glass of chardonnay or a cup of coffee (depending on the chill factor of the room.) In most cases, as with “Bridge of Spies,” Mike Christy is along for the ride. But, for films like “Brooklyn” and “Room” and most certainly, “The Danish Girl,” a flick not nominated for its title, but for Eddie Redmayne’s acting, I will need to buy a ticket and probably a pack of peanut M&Ms for my daughter. It’s fine. I just want to see the movies in total darkness and without a PAUSE button. And, I want to experience these same movies with spontaneous audience reactions, not readily accessible on Netflix, Redbox or the cracked screen of my I-phone. Plus, I like a big screen.

That’s why I go to the Palace.

For 5-bucks I am not only treated to great viewing experience, I am also privy to terrific sound (thank you Chris Lesho!), familiar-faced ushers, a beautiful lobby, and the The Big Dipper overhead. There’s also that lively organ prelude – ever single time — by the talented Jay Spencer who revels in showing off his fancy footwork and keyboard skills on a ground-raising icon. When was the last time you saw that kind of showmanship at Cinemark?

Never, I say.

So, beginning this month, I invite you to join me as the Palace offers their Academy Award Film Series. Depending on the genre and other bookings in the venue, the nominated films will show on the weekends (including a Sunday matinee) and the occasional Thursday night (art films) up to and beyond the February 28 televised Oscars. The schedule is not yet finalized due to the rights and releases of these films. So, you need to check the theatre’s website:

This year, I’m truly excited. The only nominated film that I have previously seen is “The Martian,” truly NOT a comedy, although it’s ridiculously in that category. It was okay, 1,000 times better than George Clooney’s “Gravity,” but not worth the $12.00 per person price paid in November at Tinseltown. I clearly should have waited.

Then, I could have enjoyed it – along with “The Big Short,” “Relevant,” and “Spotlight,” the latter of which I, as a Catholic, am truly anxious to see, and of course, comment on. Because that’s the other half of the joy – dishing about these films, sharing your agreement or disdain with The Academy after seeing, on a big screen, what “they” consider to be the best of the best. I assure you, it’s also a lot safer than debating the debates. Unless of course you are BFFs with Jada.

But, that’s a whole ‘nother blog.

This blog is about attending the Academy Award Movie series at The Palace and celebrating the traditions of the Awards (beginning in 1929) and the Theatre (opening in 1926).
When you do go, look for me. I’ll likely be up in the balcony for most of the films, with the exception of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I don’t have enough Dramamine on hand for that fiery flick. Plus, I’ll take my chances that it won’t win the golden idol. But then again, there was “Gladiator.”


Judi Christy 144w" sizes="(max-width: 150px) 100vw, 150px" /> Judi Christy is the Special Events and Marketing Manager for Fieldcrest Estate and a blogger for ArtsinStark