Where the Magic Happens


Featuring a fresh coat of paint and new furnishings, the Magic Lantern Theatre is enjoying a happy renaissance since its grand reopening in December. The theater is dishing up bottomless popcorn and a terrific lineup that includes such favorites as The Eagle Huntress, Moonlight, Seed: The Untold Story, Jackie, and Manchester by the Sea.

I treated myself over the holidays and saw Loving, a film about the struggles of an interracial married couple living in the Deep South in the 1960s. The film itself was a masterpiece, but what truly enhanced the experience for me was the pleasant surprise of running into a familiar face just a seat away from mine. I work in the Saranac Commons next door, and got off just in time for the 2:45 showing, and my friend and coworker Doug had the same idea. It was truly enjoyable to get off of work and share such an inspirational experience with a friend.

First established in 1973, the theater opened and closed a few times in a few different locations until it came home to its current West Main location. After closing its doors temporarily late last summer, Jim Sheehan and staff from the Community/Saranac buildings got hold of it. Don’t worry long-time Magic Lantern fans,  manager/programmer Jonathan Abramson, a tried and true faithful film afficionado, is still there, serving patrons with his passion for movies since 2010.

When asked what his favorite part of the job is, Jonathan says, “I just love to stand behind the counter and see people’s expressions as they exit the theater–to see the differences in people from when they first came to see the movie and afterwards. I also like to see all the discussions happening about the films in the lobby. I also really like being able to  choose the movies.”

Moviegoers will soon be able partake in beer and wine as well as bakery items like from the Common Crumb bakery. So far, I have tried both the ginger and the chocolate chip cookies, and they were delicious. Also showcased is a variety of Fair Trade teas. The black tea is a personal favorite and goes great with the cookies!

The Magic Lantern is a local enterprise you can support and enjoy by simply buying a $9 movie ticket. Few experiences can quite compare with kicking back with a bowl of freshly made popcorn while watching great films -nourishing both the body and the mind. Nothing better maybe, except for sharing this experience with friends.

See you at the movies!



by Olivia Saenz

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