We meet again, dear readers.  Movies are a great escape from the burdens of reality (much like breweries, I hear).  Where else can you go and be transported to another realm and universe?  Impossible is one CGI moment away from possible.  Good guys always shoot straight while the men in black can’t hit the broadside of a building.  Our childhood-favorite stuffed animals and characters become walking, breathing, and talking companions, like we always knew they could.

For those of you who love the cinema, the Northwest Corner of CT brings you three unique opportunities not found anywhere else in the known or Marvel Universe.  All within 6 miles, or an 11-minute drive, of Little Red Barns Brewers.  You can drive, recline, or dine, all while watching the big screen.

Pleasant Valley Drive-In, 47 River Road, Barkhamsted, CT, is a short 11-minute drive from the LRB.  This iconic venue opened in 1947.  It was estimated that in 1950, 4,000 drive-in movie theaters were in operation.  In 2018, that number has dwindled to 348.  Our community is blessed to have one.  The venue may be historic, but the movies are first-run blockbusters.  I honestly believe early owners of drive-ins also co-owned glass companies.  Those old speakers would hang onto your driver’s side window.  By a show of hands, how many of us drove away after the movie with the speaker still attached to the window?  SMASH!  Luckily, the audio for the movie now comes through your car speakers.  Worse thing that can happen now is a dead battery.  A jump-start is a heck of lot cheaper than a new window.

The days of loading your friends and loved ones in the trunk of your car are over… Thursday nights are $20 carload night; the highest ticket price is $10 per person on the other nights.  Where else can you go with your clan, bring your own food, grab your favorite LRB brews, allow your children to play and frolic, and get a chance to watch a movie?  You aren’t just paying for one movie, the price always include a double feature.  If all goes according to plan, the kids fall asleep after the first movie and perhaps you and your significant other can have a little time to yourself.  Here’s hoping your kids don’t snore.  ZZZZZ

Apple Cinema, 380 New Hartford Road, Barkhamsted, CT, is only 2.6 miles away from the LRB.  That’s almost walking distance!  For those who want to wear perfume instead of bug spray, this is the venue for you.  Apple Cinema has put a twist on the traditional movie experience.  During the summer months they have family movie madness… selected children’s movies and times are only $1 per ticket, plus food and drink prices are also reduced.  A family of 4 could actually escape the heat, watch a movie, and get snacks, all for under $20!  The greatness of the Apple Cinema does not stop there – every Tuesday, movie tickets are only $4.50.  This is not a misprint.  And each day prior to 4 p.m., tickets are only $7 each.  No article about Apple would be complete without talking about the chairs.  OMG the reclining chairs… these are not just the most comfortable chairs I have seen at a movie house, these are the most comfortable chairs my rear end has ever touched.  This summer I often bought an $8 ticket to escape the humidity in style.  Only once did I fall asleep, darn drool on the side of my mouth woke me.  And did I mention that reasonably priced beer and wine are available to go with your popcorn?  Perhaps someday, if the masses speak with one voice, you’ll be able to enjoy an LRB brew at Apple Cinema.  Seems like a natural fit to me.

Gilson Cafe and Cinema354 Main Street, Winsted, CT, is a mere .5 miles from the LRB.  If you’re looking to create a perfect date night you need to make just two stops.  Stop one is at the Little Red Barn Brewers followed by a visit to the Gilson.  The Gilson offers you the opportunity to have drinks, dinner, and dessert, and watch a movie all from the same seat and table.  No need to worry about rushing to make a dinner reservation and plowing through the meal in order to make a movie.  This theater offers everything in one nice package.  The Gilson Cafe and Cinema is so impressive that it got its very own Spotlight on August 23rd.  Send Beerman an email requesting more information about the Gilson if you missed that edition.

If you’re still reading this piece, you’ll remember that I said the Northwest Corner of CT has three unique cinematic experiences.  I lied, it’s actually four.  In a Galaxy far, far away, actually only a 30 minute ride from the LRB, there’s a unique movie experience that is not to be missed.  Bantam Cinema, 11 Bantam Lake Road, Bantam, CT, has the honor of being the longest continuously operated movie house in CT, opening in 1927.  This movie theater got its start showing silent films in an old barn.  It now shows independent films that are made for the sake of the art form, not just to satisfy the stockholders of a corporation.  For those looking for a break from the big blockbusters, this is the theater for you.  The person who sells you a ticket will also be the one to sell you popcorn.  Feels like you’re in someone’s home instead of a large box theater.  Over the last 25 years, they have a “Meet the Film Maker” series.  Some of the notable speakers have been Arthur Miller, Daniel-Day Lewis, Joan Rivers, Liza Minelli, Maureen Stapleton, and William Styron.  This is truly an experience that is not to be missed.  Go to their website and sign up for their newsletter for the most up-to-date information.  On a side note for you BBQ lovers, the theater is next door to Woods Pit BBQ.  A must visit.  Hmmmm LOVE me some ribs.

Dear readers, grab some popcorn, select a brew, and go to the movies.  Stay tuned for future spotlights.