In early June of this year I found myself in Santa Fe. The skies were clear and the sun seared the streets as I tried to decide what to do with my afternoon. Due to the weather I decided to do something indoors, and seeing as Jurassic World had recently premiered I began looking for a movie theater. My two choices were a large chain theater across the street or a smaller, independent venue right around the corner. The small cinema seemed to have some pretty favorable reviews, so a few minutes later I walked into the Jean Cocteau Cinema and Coffee House.
Upon walking inside I noticed two things immediately: The movie poster closest to the door featured Maisie Williams, who plays Arya on HBO's Game of Thrones, and the Funko Pop! vinyls in the display case all shared a Game of Thrones theme.
Curious about the themed interior, I asked the woman at the front desk if the owners of the theater were big fans of Game of Thrones. Her response was that she certainly hopes so, because
The owner of the Jean Cocteau Cinema is none other than George R. R. Martin himself!
13 years ago, the small theater had been shut down. It remained closed for 10 years until in 2012, GRRM, who lives in Santa Fe, decided to buy and revamp the place. 3 years later, the one-screen locale is thriving. Popular new releases will be shown four times a day when they first premier, and the gaps in-between are filled with foreign films and old Woody Allen movies, giving the Jean Cocteau a feel all of its own. Now for the best part: the lounge.
Just before the door to the theater itself lies the jewel of the Jean Cocteau. The lounge area is a dream come true: the room is littered with stools and comfortable chairs for enjoying a good book and beverage of your choice (I'd suggest you try the special: the White Walker). The walls are lined with paintings by local artists, some of which are Game of Thrones-themed. All are marked with price-tags, just in case you think your home could use a bit more fantasy.
The opposite wall sports more art hung above a long display case. The case itself is full of books by GRRM and other authors. And it gets even better: the books are autographed by their authors and available for purchase.
When it all comes down to it, there's nothing to dislike about the Jean Cocteau: it's a cultural landmark, it's a fantastic place to see a movie, enjoy the company of friends, or even just read a book. If you ever find yourself in Santa Fe, swing by the Jean Cocteau. You won't regret it.
Have you ever been to a unique theater like this, or do you even have one in your hometown? Are you excited for the upcoming book and/or season of the Game of Thrones saga? Sound off in the comments, and thanks for reading!