Welcome to Kingston (Part IV): Arthouse, Deadmau5, and Die Fledermaus
For your pleasure, we present a smattering of Kingston’s finest music, film and art locales.
The Screening Room
There was once a time when people went to the movies and sat in silence. ‘Twas a glorious time; a time when you weren’t forced to sit through 20 minutes of inane cellphone games before the feature. Back then, you never had to spend those first vital scenes summoning up the courage to tell the dude behind you to please shut up.
If you find yourself running and shrieking from the terrifying reality of the modern day multiplex, The Screening Room offers much needed respite. Kingston’s home of independent cinema, this little charmer is a love letter to the picture viewing experience of yesteryear. A tiny, romantic hole in the wall, this is the kind of theatre The Drifters longed for in Saturday Night at The Movies. The programming is thoughtful and diverse, and blends a sprinkling of mainstream Hollywood with an emphasis on art-house, alternative, and foreign features. For fans of the classics, the Cinematica program brings vintage favourites to the big screen on a monthly basis. With student prices fixed firmly at eight dollars, this delightful retro picture house is a must for any self-respecting film buff. This lovely, little place takes cash only.
The Screening Room, 120 Princess Street / screeningroomkingston.com
Kingston Grand Theatre
Blues Brothers! Ziggy Marley! Grand Champion Elvis Impersonators! Jill Barber! A host of mainstream entertainment drops by this charming Princess Street proscenium on a regular basis. Boasting a true dedication to the local arts scene, the Grand also serves as a creative hub for Kingston’s leading talent. In addition to hosting the classical delights of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, the theatre is also home to two of Kingston’s leading amateur theatre companies: Blue Canoe, a non profit company dedicated to the development of local young talent; and Bottle Tree Productions, an adult company specializing in musical theatre and comedy favourites. A truly multidisciplinary arts venue, the Grand is also the home of Kingston’s annual WritersFest, a celebration of literature offering master classes, readings, and lectures from acclaimed scribes such as Wally Lamb and Miriam Toews.
Kingston Grand Theatre, 218 Princess Street / kingstongrand.ca
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
Shiny-new and nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, this renovated brewery is the brainchild of Ottawa-based N45 and the acclaimed Norwegian architect Snohetta. The facility is remarkable, offering an 80,000 square foot, state of the art music, film, theatre-slash-new media experience. Extending its gaze from classical music and dance to new and emerging art forms such as Live Electronics and Video Processing, the Centre recently played host to Polaris Music Prize nominees Timber Timbre. Expect a slew of similarly exciting and prestigious guests in the months to come.
Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, 390 King Street West / theisabel.ca
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
A mere skip from MacDonald Hall, the Agnes Etherington boasts a dazzling collection of over 15,000 works of contemporary and historical works of art, drawn from Canada and across the globe. A must see at the moment is Geoffrey James’ photo-exhibit “Inside Kingston Penitentiary,” a stark and mesmerizing account of the legendary institution’s final months and the relationships that were forged within its walls. Offering a wide range of courses and seminars to adults and children alike, the Agnes Etherington is a privilege we urge every Queen’s student to enjoy. Where else can you check out genuine Rembrandts after class?
Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 36 University Avenue / agnes.queensu.ca
The Grad Club
The Pitchfork devotees among us should march their penny loafers over to Queen’s’ very own Grad Club and enjoy cheap exposure to a surprising number of Canada’s most exciting new indie bands. Upcoming treats include an audience with Juno-nominated post-classic rock darlings Plants and Animals and Vancouver based alt-country collective The Strumbrellas.
The Grad Club, 162 Barrie Street / queensgradclub.wordpress.com
For those eager to dip a toe in the Kingston band scene, The Mansion—a sprawling Princess Street boozer-slash-music emporium—spits forth an unrelenting stream of local and touring alternative music, as well as a weekly open mic night. If you’re not a fan of throaty Tracy Chapman covers, the perennially cheap booze numbs the pain quite splendidly.
The Mansion, 506 Princess Street / themansionkingston.com
Andy Gibbons (2L) and Tom Mack (2L) are the Culture Editors for Juris Diction.
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