BEST UNDERAPPRECIATED FILM VENUE

Channelside 9 Cinemas

Well, another year has come and gone, and, much to the surprise of many local naysayers, Channelside is still here. Sure, they're not programming nearly as many non-mainstream movies as they did just a few short years ago, but you're still always likely to find a Spellbound or a Whale Rider tucked away amongst the Dumb and Dumberers and T3s. For all extents and purposes, the motto is no longer "Movies Outside the Mainstream" but rather, "A Couple of Movies Outside the Mainstream" — but even that's something to be thankful for. The local press continues to expend as little energy as possible covering Channelside's more interesting offerings, and even local art film fans still seem more interested in whining about the lack of options available to them than actually supporting the handful that exist. We'll say it again: Channelside continues to be the Bay area's last and best hope for a genuine cosmopolitan arthouse/multiplex, and so far we've blown it. What happens now with Channelside largely depends on us. It's time to either put up or shut up: Show Channelside you support them by actually going out there and buying a ticket for a movie that doesn't suck.

Channelside 9 Cinemas, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, 813-221-0700.

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