July 8, 1997

Dinner & A Movie at the Keystone, Portland, Maine

Like many entrepreneurial labors of love, the Keystone Cinema on Congress Street in Portland, Maine was better in concept than execution. The proprietors built three or four decent-sized movie screens, and filled the theaters with very soft and cushioned seats (rescued from Lincoln Town Cars converted into limousines). They served pub food before and during the movie. So what was the problem? The food was only OK, not great, and the service was mediocre. The waitresses used overly elaborate electronic handheld devices for placing orders- it seemed like the owners overthought the concept. Plus, the very cushy seats had large arms which made it impossible to get close to your date for snuggling.

As you can see from the selection below, I only went eight times in three years: after six visits in 1997, I only attended twice more, in 1999. I moved out of town in 2001, and the Keystone closed sometime in the early 00's. As of 2007, the space on Congress Street is now a sports bar.

  • My 25th Birthday • Star Trek: First Contact • An exciting Borg adventure and my third favorite Star Trek movie, after numbers 2 and 6.
  • April 13, 1997 • The English Patient • A little slow on the second viewing, but an impressive adaptation of a dense novel.
  • May 2, 1997 • Smilla's Sense of Snow • A very odd detective story, from a far superior book, as Emily is fond of pointing out.
  • September 6, 1997 • Citizen Kane • One of my Top Ten all time movies.
  • October 24, 1997 • The Edge • Hopkins and Baldwin elevate this standard genre piece slightly above what it deserves.
  • November 30, 1997 • The Ice Storm • Growing up in identical Boston suburbs makes the movie resound for me. I hope my parents didn't behave like this!
  • February 12, 1999 • Elizabeth • If I had paid attention in my History Of England course, perhaps I would have appreciated this movie more.
  • New Year's Eve, 1999 • Being John Malkovich • Bizarrely fantastic.