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Originally published November 5, 2010 at 7:00 AM | Page modified November 5, 2010 at 10:46 AM

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Renovated Cinerama reopens soon with latest 'Harry Potter'

Seattle's historic Cinerama Theater will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19, with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. " The theater has...

Seattle Times movie critic

Seattle's historic Cinerama Theater will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19, with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I." The theater has been closed since late summer for renovations.

Greg Wood, new operator of the theater (through his company Northwest Cinema, which also manages the Roseway Theater in Portland), said the renovations were primarily a technical upgrade, including a new projector (with 3D capability), new screen and updated sound system.

"As the moviegoing experience goes, the Cinerama is back to the top tier on the forefront of technology," he said.

Patrons will also see changes in the lobby, which features new artwork and carpeting as well as a redesigned concessions stand (with a small popcorn newly priced at just $2) and local offerings such as chocolates from Theo's, cupcakes from Cupcake Royale and coffee from Caffé Vita. The theater website will be relaunched next week for advance ticket purchases; watch www.cinerama.com for details.

Fans of film noir will want to stop by Northwest Film Forum this week, where Jacques Tourneur's 1956 "Nightfall" plays in a new 35 mm print. It's the deliciously shadowy tale of a commercial artist (Aldo Ray) and a model he meets at a bar (young Anne Bancroft, already nicely raspy). Shadows fall, murderous thugs invade a fashion show (thus necessitating a demonstration of running in a full-length sequined sheath) and, as Bancroft's character says, "Things that really happen are always difficult to explain." It's running through Thursday at NWFF. (Noir fans should also note that "After Midnight: The Film Noir Cycle" continues for two more Thursdays at Seattle Art Museum; see seattleartmuseum.org for schedule and ticket information.)

Also at NWFF through the weekend is Oliver Assayas's 5 ½-hour trilogy, "Carlos," about the international terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal. All three parts will screen consecutively Friday through Sunday; tickets are $25 for the trilogy ($15 NWFF members) or $9 ($6 members) for individual films. Trilogy passes can be used on different days. NWFF, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-267-5380 or www.nwfilmforum.org.

The first weekend of the Seattle Polish Film Festival is under way, with a full schedule of features and short films through Sunday, including the comedy "Holy Business," about a pair of brothers who inherit a car once owned by the pope; "Laura," a timely drama about a real-life rescue of a coal miner; and "Enen: Case Unknown," in which a young doctor struggles to help a supposedly incurable mental patient.

The festival also runs Thursday through Nov. 14. All screenings are at SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St., Seattle; tickets are $10 per screening or $50 for a full festival pass. See www.polishfilms.org for scheduling information, siff.net to buy tickets.

Metro Classics continues Wednesday with Howard Hawks' 1966 Western "El Dorado" (a remake of his own 1959 film "Rio Bravo"), starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan. Wednesday only at 6:45 and 9:15 p.m., Metro, 4500 Ninth Ave. N.E., Seattle; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com.

The Grand Illusion this week presents "Straight to Hell Returns," director Alex Cox's ("Sid & Nancy," "Repo Man") revisiting of his '80s Western parody "Straight to Hell." Cox has added a few effects and an extra 5 or 6 minutes of footage cut from the original version, which stars Sy Richardson, Dick Rude, Dennis Hopper, Joe Strummer, Courtney Love, Elvis Costello and The Pogues. Through Thursday at the Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; 206-523-3935 or www.grandillusioncinema.org.

And finally, remember "Memento," Christopher Nolan's twisty 2000 thriller about memory and obsession, told in a way that makes you want to take it all apart and put it together again? Experience it anew at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Egyptian, 805 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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