Best Art House Movie Theater (2001)
Valley Art Theatre
It feels almost traitorous not to bestow this award on Harkins' Camelview 5 in Scottsdale, which has pretty much single-handedly maintained what little independent and foreign film fare the Valley has to offer. But Dan Harkins has outdone himself with the Valley Art, a beautiful, modernized renovation of the spot where he claims to have been conceived when his parents lived and worked there, operating the Mill Avenue theater before it fell into disrepair. The Valley Art's stadium seating rises gently, offering both good viewing and the feel of a traditional movie theater, and, while the screen isn't giant, it is set in perfect relationship to the seats. Now if Harkins will just upgrade Camelview to the same level of cleanliness and comfort, indie film could be treated with the respect it deserves.