Seattle  has earned an international reputation among filmmakers as having one of the most discriminating audiences in America. Movies are often tested on this urban market before being released, and Seattle viewers have often made a little-known film a winner.
If you are in town in May and June, be sure to take in a flick at the outstanding Seattle International Film Festival (206/324-9997, www.seattlefilm.com ). It’s the largest of its kind in America, attracting more than 100,000 filmgoers.
On a smaller scale, the Fremont Outdoor Cinema (N. 34th St. and Phinney Ave. N, 206/781-4230, www.fremontoutdoormovies.com , $5) is held on summer Saturday nights across from the Redhook Brewery. Bring your lawn chair to join in the fun of watching old B movies and cult classics.
For the ultimate movie experience, join the crowds at downtown’s Cinerama Theatre (2100 4th Ave., 206/441-3080) where billionaire Paul Allen’s money is once again in evidence. This 800-seat remodeled classic is the place to see a flick in Seattle . The screen is enormous, the sound and projection systems are state-of-the-art, and the first-run blockbuster movies are just plain fun.
Off-the-beaten-path cinemas with art-house films include Grand Illusion Cinema (N.E. 50th St. and University Way NE, 206/523-3935) and Varsity Theatre (4329 University Way NE, 206/632-3131) in the U District , Guild 45th (2115 N. 45th St., 206/781-5755) in Wallingford , and Egyptian Theatre (801 E. Pine, 206/323-4978) on Capitol Hill . Looking for a cheap flick? Head out to the Crest Cinema Center (16505 5th Ave. NE, 206/363-6338) in North Seattle, where all shows are only $3.