Film & TVNews

Enjoy the film (and beer, and wine and food …)

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As the sun sets on the Fifth Street Public Market, movie-goers settle into cushy couches lining the front row of theater one, their beers and popcorn in tow. It’s two-for-one Tuesday and movie tickets are only $2, drawing a slew of couples. “This is better than my living room,” Eugene businessman Jeff Fields said during the ending credits of “Two Lovers.”

His wife, Corey Fields, agreed. “I had a date with my husband with no kids,” she said. “It’s a real deal.”

Offering customers an extended living room, a change of scene and a change of pace is what Josh Goldfarb envisioned when he opened Eugene’s first 21-and-over movie venue, the David Minor Theater, in October 2008. The theater became a part of his father’s business, Ronny’s Audio Vision.

“Movies and beer are recession-proof,” Goldfarb said. “A movie, dinner and beer for $15 is a no-brainer.”

With two theaters, an art gallery, a menu supplied by nearby Cornucopia Restaurant and Cafe Lucky Noodle, beer and wine selections, and quality movies – both new releases and throwbacks – the David Minor Theater honors the life of a Eugene man whose community involvement and friendships with many groups were hallmark attributes.

Goldfarb had never dealt with death before Minor was killed in a bicycle accident at 27 in June 2008. The two met at South Eugene High School through mutual friends and years later became close while Goldfarb worked with his father and Minor managed Jo Federigo’s Restaurant and Jazz Club across the street. “It was an industry thing,” Goldfarb said of their friendship.

Goldfarb says Minor was “always having his hands in all sorts of current issues” ­- tattooed on his arm was a Eugene Debs quote: “While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Goldfarb describes the events that followed Minor’s death as “a blur.” Friends created a tribute at the site of Minor’s accident, chaining a bicycle painted white to the corner of East 13th Avenue and Willamette Street and surrounding it with bouquets of flowers and messages. Goldfarb decided he needed to do something differently in his life and approached his father with a proposal, wanting to diversify the family business and honor his friend.

The Ronny’s Audio Vision building was already prepared with audio equipment and decor. Within two months, the father-son team transformed the place, which opened Oct. 17, 2008.

They say they know David Minor would have loved it.

Movies are $4 Monday through Saturday, $1 Sunday, and two-for-one Tuesday. Students receive discounts all week. Patrons can also get discounts for writing brief movie reviews on the theater’s Web site. Films rotate every few weeks.

Theater one seats 50 patrons and theater two seats 15. The lobby boasts screens so patrons who purchase drinks or food part way through won’t miss any of the movie’s plot.

Ticket reservations are available one week before the desired reservation date. Because it is a pub theater, the theater requires ID and will charge a fee of $5 for outside bottles of wine.

Also in the theater is an art gallery. All commissions go to the Willamette Farm & Food Coalition via the David Minor Memorial Fund. The fund was established in Minor’s name because of his passion for sustainability and local issues. The gallery will be a featured stop on the First Friday Art Walk in August.

Thus far, special events at the David Minor Theater have included “The Big Lebowski” and Halloween parties. Goldfarb anticipates hosting Super Bowl parties and film festivals.

“Students end up going to the same places – Taylor’s (Bar & Grille) and Max’s (Tavern),” Goldfarb said. “Get off campus for something unique. See quality movies and treat yourself. It’s nice to be served.”

At a Glance

WHAT: David Minor Theater
LOCATION: 180 E. 5th Ave.
PHONE NUMBER: (541) 762-1700
NOW PLAYING: ‘The Graduate,’ ‘Two Lovers,’ ‘Gran Torino’ and ‘The Usual Suspects’
ART GALLERY: JoEllen Gregori-Waldvogel, “Faces”
COST: $4 Monday through Saturdays, $1 Sundays, two-for-one Tuesdays. Check out the David Minor Theater’s and profiles
No minors allowed
Free WiFi

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