Best Independent Film Theater - 2009
Readers' Choice: Lido Theatre
Since Koos Arts Cafe folks started booking events at the historic downtown Santa Ana theater in October 2008, regular live-music shows have been presented there, and keeping with the bent of the nonprofit, the all-ages venue's owner, Dennis Lluy, houses acts that gravitate toward the untried-and-true (Icelandic pop, anyone?). But Lluy and his crew are no one-discipline ponies, frequently offering healthy mixes of visual arts, activism and something the former-Spanish-language-movie palace was known most for: films. And so, the Yost Theater has drawn the curtains back and flashed on the biggish screen the truly indie, quirky and cheapy. This Independence Day weekend past saw the return of Saturday-midnight screenings of the cult camp classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which drew the Midnight Insanity crew to several Orange County screens before the flick was cast away to Long Beach years ago. The morning of March 27, the Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) announced that Derick Martini's Lymelife would open the April 23 cultural event. Pound sand, NBFF: that night, Lymelife played at the Yost with something that would elude the festival—Martini in person. That was courtesy of Lake Forest shoemaker etnies' intriguing series "The Cinema," which had been planned to tour different venues but liked the Yost set-up so much it showed future films there. As is also the m.o. of Lluy and Koos, they've presented local filmmaker showcases, including Santa Ana filmmaker/impresario Bob Pece's mini-festivals of hilarious, twisted and educational shorts from the Rat Powered Films' vault. And the wonders of Fourth Street and the rest of downtown Santa Ana are mere steps away.