In light of the worsening circumstances related to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the directives issued today by Governor Inslee, the Kiggins is suspending all screenings and events from March 16th until April 1st, or the until conditions improve sufficiently. We are complying with the state, city, and county in prioritizing the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and our community at large.
Our current plans are to reschedule much of our programming at a later date. If you have purchased advance tickets, these tickets will be honored for a rescheduled show, or can be used for another film.
Can’t make a later screening? Consider your ticket purchase a donation to help us get thru this closure. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about a refund or other options.
For the first time ever we are also offering on-line gift certificates in four different amounts which will allow you really support the Kiggins while we are closed! On-line service fees are included in the price so you get the full face value! These will never expire so you are investing in the longterm survival of your local theater!
We remain committed to the safety and best interests of our staff and audience members, and we will continue to share updates in the days and weeks ahead via our newsletter and social media.
We are deeply grateful to everyone for your ongoing support. Please stay healthy and we will see you at the movies soon!
And as the great prophets Bill and Ted once proclaimed “Be excellent to each other!”
The Kiggins Theatre would like to assure our patrons that we are taking necessary precautions with regard to concerns about the spread of the Corona Virus COVID-19. We are carefully monitoring the recommendations of governmental health agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local health organizations.
Here’s what else WE are doing:
*Kiggins’ staff are required to stay home if they are ill or suspect they have been exposed.
*Our staff has increased our already thorough disinfection of all surfaces, including countertops, door pulls, railings, armrests and other public spaces.
*Staff handling cash and credit cards will avoid serving any concession items.
*When providing our free refills of our large soda and popcorns we will provide a clean cup and a fresh popcorn bag when you surrender the old ones.
Here’s what YOU can do:
*If you feel ill, PLEASE STAY HOME. We know our programming is awesome, but it’s not worth making someone else ill over!
*Our always-clean restrooms have all the materials you need for thorough hand-washing (20 seconds with soap!) which is the most proven method for keeping your hands virus-free. Wash well and wash often!
*Cover up that sneeze or cough! If you do sneeze or cough while you’re out in public, please cover your mouth or nose with your elbow or a single use tissue and wash your hands immediately.
*Keep some social distance. Our theater holds 330 which gives you plenty of room to spread out and give yourself some space (six feet is recommended). Avoid any unnecessary physical contact with our staff or other patrons whenever possible. We’ll be happy to give you a high five once this threat is under control!
Got questions? Here’s a helpful link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website that details prevention and treatment strategies.
The next two films in the Noir Nights series, The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia, are unusual for film noir. The plots are linear – more like classic murder mysteries than the tangled narratives typically found in this genre. There aren’t any characters with a dark past that they don’t want to talk about and you’re certain will catch up with them.
These films also lack femme fatales. Yes, there’s some shady ladies with bad motives, but they don’t have any real power over anyone or anything. The hero isn’t trapped by them. The female lead in both films is Veronica Lake, who acts acts as Alan Ladd’s guardian angel – stirring him to do right with a side long glance and a pouting of her lips.
William Bendix gives memorable performances in each film. In The Glass Key he’s a sadistic thug who finds pleasure in torturing Alan Ladd for his boss. In The Blue Dahlia, he’s a World War II vet with a serious head injury and shell shock. He’s irrationally taunted by loud music and a woman pulling at a blue flower.
The Glass Key features an actor not typically connected to dark films – Hugh Beaumont, who became famous playing Ward Cleaver on the tv show Leave It to Beaver. In this film, he tries to counsel and help Bendix’s troubled character, but doesn’t seem to understand the severity of his war buddy’s injuries.
Despite a lack of certain noir elements, the use of shadows and shadowy characters places these films in the noir realm. In addition, it always seems to be raining. And both films are associated with titans of noir. The Glass Key is based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel (of the same name) about political corruption. This novel influenced the Coen Brother’s 1990 film, Miller’s Crossing, another slick, sexy film depicting the fine line between political corruption and organized crime. Raymond Chandler wrote the screenplay for The Blue Dahlia which is partly a depiction of the very real difficulties of veterans returning from war and partly a journey into the surreal world of noir.
December is a busy month for the Kiggins and its staff, with our non-stop Christmas programming and dozens of private holiday rentals! For the past several years our annual tradition is to have a fun night out in January, and this year was no different!
This past Wednesday our friends at Vault 31, “Vancouver’s premier video game and geek bar”, treated us like royalty, even concocting a yummy “Kiggins Buttered Popcorn Cocktail” in our honor!
The food was amazing, the cocktails were yummy (Harry Potter fans will enjoy the adult version of the classic Butterbeer) and the staff was super welcoming. Stop by sometime and check them out.
2020 is off to a great start at the Kiggins, with our opening of of the Academy Award nominated JOJO RABBIT tonight, and our annual showing of the Oscar Nominated Short Films starting in just two weeks!
“Make time for a Movie” and stop by and see us soon!
This Gun for Fire, released in 1942, technically stars Veronica Lake and Robert Preston. As soon as the film begins, it’s obvious that the real star is Alan Ladd. Ladd plays Raven, a killer for hire with a soft spot for kittens and children. His tough guy act is interesting to watch, but he doesn’t fully come alive until Veronica Lake enters the picture.
The obvious chemistry between Ladd and Lake sets this film apart from other B film crime dramas and completely undermines the flimsy story line of Lake being in love with her police officer fiancé, played by Robert Preston. Like all great film screen couples, Ladd and Lake are more interesting to watch together than they are apart. There’s an easiness between them as if they share an unspoken language. They would go on to star in other films like The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia – the next films in the Kiggins Theatre’s Noir Nights series.
The plot of This Gun for Fire, in typical film noir fashion, is a thicket of plots – deadly chemical formulas, double crosses, $10 stolen from the Treasury Department, a secret government mission. Film noir isn’t for viewers who need a plot that makes sense. These films are more suited for those drawn to mood and shadows and a lack of clarity regarding what is happening and who is to be trusted.
In the Graham Greene novel that inspired this film, Raven (Alan Ladd) has scars on his face that were inflicted by his mother. Paramount Pictures thankfully decided not to mar the pretty face or its rising star. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Ladd’s performance in this film transformed the film gangster, “with his ugly face, gaudy cars, and flashing clothes,” and replaced it with, “a smoother, better looking, and better dressed bad man.” This character also adds some moral ambiguity. He shows kindness to those he perceived as weak and helpless, but has no problem killing people for money. He also shares his troubled childhood and the demons that still haunt his dreams creating a fully realized character that is as sympathetic as he is dangerous.
–Rachel Pinksky, guest curator
The Searchers is the quintessential classic western. In this 1956 film, John Wayne has perfected the part of the world weary western hero. Director, John Ford, creates a film with a complex protagonist (part hero, part villain) shot in the gorgeous vistas of Monument Valley.
Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a confederate soldier who returns to his family in Texas years after the Civil War has ended. The opening shot with the camera peering through the doorway as Ethan returns and the closing shot peering through that same doorway are breathtakingly beautiful and exquisitely composed as if painted on canvas by the old masters.
The story is based on the true story of Cynthia Ann Parker – a young girl kidnapped by Comanches. In this film, the girl’s name is Debbie (played by Natalie Wood). Ethan and her adopted brother, Martin (played by a strapping Jeffrey Hunter) go on an obsessive five year quest to find her.
Throughout the film, Ethan makes racist comments about various Native American tribes. He also talks about women who have been raped or had sex with Native Americans as not human. Martin is on the quest to find his sister, but he also wants to make sure Ethan doesn’t kill her if she’s been “defiled.”
This depiction of the flawed hero inspired many other directors. Martin Scorsese based Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver on the Ethan Edwards character. Scorsese wrote in the Hollywood Reporter, “In truly great films — the ones that people need to make, the ones that start speaking through them, the ones that keep moving into territory that is more and more unfathomable and uncomfortable — nothing’s ever simple or neatly resolved. You’re left with a mystery.”
The intensity of the film is cooled by comic moments, mostly domestic scenes back at the Texas homestead fueled by the antics of talented character actors (Ward Bond, Hank Worden, John Qualen). However, some of the attempts at humor aren’t funny to someone watching this film today. The scenes where a Native American woman believes Martin has bought her to be his wife come off as cruel.
Despite the obvious flaws of Wayne’s character, this film is considered a masterpiece that has inspired generations of film makers.