Best Indie Movie House (2002)

Madstone Theater and Lounge

Okay, so it's in Chandler. But Madstone Theaters -- a national chain of 20 cinemas that play predominantly independent and foreign films -- is a godsend in any neighborhood. Until last month, the Valley had gotten by with precious few full-fledged art movie houses, and if it weren't for Harkins Valley Art or Camelview, we'd never see a foreign or indie film at all. But Madstone is here to change all that. The company recently bought an abandoned AMC multiplex and transformed it into this six-screen, upscale cinema that showcases art house and foreign films, as well as documentaries and classic movies. Plush interiors and comfy seating may be a given, but when was the last time you went to a movie house with a concierge, or an art gallery, or a full-service cafe that serves sandwiches, coffee drinks, baked goods, and beer and wine? Madstone features revivals of recent hit indie films, as well as a digital movie screen that will bring live and interactive programming to the Valley.

As if that weren't enough, the company has launched Madstone Films, a new-style studio that funds new works by up-and-coming young filmmakers. Movie fans will want one of Madstone's annual membership kits, which offers discounted tickets and invitations to special screenings and receptions. Let's go to the movies!


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