I was excited to learn that Joplin’s newest theater opened last weekend. Bookhouse Cinema, located at 715 E. Broadway, is an independent theater, showing indie films, documentaries, classics and other non mainstream movies. I have hoped for a long time for just such a theater in Joplin. Late this afternoon I had the privilege of visiting Bookhouse Cinema for the first time.
Greg accompanied me on this adventure. We selected a 5:15 showing of the film Oh Lucy! and arrived early enough to look around before the movie started.
The beautiful theater room is located in the center of the building. On one side is the lobby where tickets are sold. On the other side is a charming pub where appetizers, meals, drinks and snacks can be purchased.
The pub was very homey and welcoming with lots of light streaming in through large windows. Bookhouse offers an amazing selection of foods and drinks that can be enjoyed in the pub or carried into the theater. I was delighted to see plant based options available including homemade hummus and beet chips.
Greg and I shared a hummus platter with veggies and specialty crackers. It was fun to carry our platter and tall glasses of lemon/lime water into the theater. The room was very comfortable as were the theater seats.
Retro concessions commercials played on the big screen. And I loved when a countdown started. As the number 5 appeared on the screen, a voice announced “Five minutes before showtime!” That immediately took me back to my childhood and watching Saturday matinees in Tulsa.
As the previews began, the double doors on either side of the room were closed, effectively blocking out light and noise as the room darkened. It was showtime!
Oh Lucy! is a Japanese/American film starring Shinobu Terajima and Josh Hartnett. It was directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi, who wrote the story and created a short film by the same name before producing the feature film. This comedy drama has a run time of 1 hour and 36 minutes.
Setsuko (Terajimo) is stuck in a mundane life, going to work day after day, watching television in her tiny cluttered apartment at night. She is incredibly bored and feels she has missed out on having a husband and a family. Her life changes when she meets John (Hartnett), an American in Tokyo teaching English. His teaching style is friendly and unorthodox. He assigns Setsuko the name Lucy and gives her a blond wig to wear.
When she is being Lucy, Setsuko feels herself opening up and enjoying new experiences such as hugs. She is shocked, however, when she eagerly shows up for a class, only to discover that John has quit teaching and returned to the United States.
Reluctant to settle back into a routine she hates, Setsuko flies to LA, with her sister, to find John and declare the feelings she realizes she has for him. Oh Lucy! is a heart touching film about a woman’s search for herself that begins as an outward journey and then turns inward.
I so enjoyed Bookhouse Cinema. Films are offered Wednesday through Sunday, with three showtimes every day except Saturday, when there are four. Two to three different films are featured each day. The schedule and list of movies can be found on the Bookhouse Cinema Facebook page. Tickets are $8 and appetizers and meals range from $4 – $10.
If you enjoy indie films and amazing documentaries, charming decor and quality, freshly prepared food, visit Bookhouse Cinema. Welcome them to Joplin, and stop by often, to support this wonderful theater.