Best Theater for Art Movies

The Cleveland Cinematheque

You might need Mapquest and a compass to find Cleveland's top bastion for obscure films, but your effort will be duly rewarded. Behind the Cleveland Institute of Art building, near the dumpster, and up the loading-dock staircase is the shrouded domain of John Ewing, who for 20 years has devoted his very being to unspooling the finest domestic and international movies. Ewing's gift is that he's mastered the delicate balance between populist fare and "important" works. That's why you'll see a theaterful of Case students hooting at Spike & Mike's new animation fest one night, then two dozen cinephiles silently gaping over Ulrich Seidl's documentary on Catholicism the next. Each week offers something for every taste, from pretentious to puerile: For every exhaustive series honoring Fellini or Bergman, there's a celebration of antique French porn or a revival of It Came From Outer Space - complete with 3-D glasses. As mainstream cinema feeds us ever more schlock and explosions, the real blast is happening at the Cinematheque.