Fans of films unite in Camas

The Camas Movie Club includes Stacey Kim, Laurinda Reddig, Carissa Reid, Debra Thomas and Kristin Hakala (from left to right). Reid started the club as a Facebook page, because she loves movies and she wants to help promote the Liberty Theatre, in downtown Camas. “My hope is to see the page grow into an online community of local folks sharing their experiences at the movies at the Liberty,” Reid said.

A local mother has formed a club that supports her weekly film habit and benefits a downtown Camas business.Carissa Reid, of Camas, founded the Camas Movie Club, because she loves movies and wants to help promote the Liberty Theatre.She has seen more than 50 movies at the Liberty since December 2011. Her recent favorites have included “Brave,” which she saw with her daughter, “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Odd Life of Timothy Green.”

“I was also very taken with ‘Robot & Frank,” which was a quiet little film with some unexpected twists,” Reid said.

That movie and “Magic Mike” are among the films viewed by Camas Movie Club members in the Granada Cinema, at the Liberty.

After a $13,000 renovation project, the Granada opened in June. The renovations included the installation of a Dolby stereo sound processor, upgrades of the projection system, re-carpeting of the steps, painting, adding new lighting and cleaning the curtains.

The Granada has 26 seats.

“It has the wonderful intimate feeling of a home theater with very nice chairs and limited seating, but the screen is good-sized and the sound system is very good,” Reid said.

She also appreciates that the opening of the Granada has given the movie club members more movie options.

They usually see a movie on Tuesday nights.

“Before [the Granada] opened, we attended whatever was showing at 7-ish in the main theater,” Reid said. “Some of those movies would not have been my first choice — given the option — so now it is rather nice to have a choice between a couple of movies and pick the one that my usual group would all enjoy.”

The Liberty Theatre is located at 315 N.E. Fourth Ave. The 350-seat theater was built in 1927 and restored in 1996 after a fire gutted the interior two years earlier.

Renovations and upgrades were overseen in 2011 by Rand Thornsley, managing director of Rootstock Capital Management, LLC. He signed a five-year lease on the theater in January 2011.

Thornsley said he is thrilled Reid has formed a club.

“Many film societies have had humble beginnings,” he said.

Thornsley said he is in favor of “anything that supports the shared experience of watching a movie — away from a family room.”

An older couple that views a movie at the Liberty almost once a week has told him they would like to see the formation of a discussion group that would meet after seeing a film.

Such groups exist in Alaska, where Thornsley has managed and owned small movie theaters for the past four decades.

He would like to see more area residents become involved in the Camas Movie Club.

“It promotes the theatre without [additional work by] me and the staff,” Thornsley said. “It’s groups like this that help keep the movie experience going.”

Reid appreciates the restoration efforts at the Liberty.

“I love relaxing in the comfy seats and listening to music instead of the endless advertisements that run at most of the other area theaters while waiting for the previews to begin,” she said.

Reid also likes the variety of movies shown at the Liberty. They include blockbusters and rated “G” features, as well as several independent films.

“A few of my favorite films of the year were indies, such as ‘Boy’ and ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home,’” she said. “Plus, the Liberty stocks Junior Mints. It’s a rare Tuesday night when I don’t sit down with a bottle of water and a chilled package of Junior Mints.

“I think I’m getting to the point when I can just say ‘the usual’ at the concession stand,” Reid added.

Her mother Jane Wageman, of Camas, has seen several films in the Liberty and Granada.

Wageman’s favorite among those is “Rock of Ages.”

“The Liberty is small and cozy,” she said. “It is clean and has good popcorn.

“You can’t beat the price either,” Wageman added. “I love doing double features there.”

Reid said her mother has been seeing movies with the club since early this year.

“It’s fun getting her perspective on shows we watch and a great way to spend time with her,” Reid said.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Camas-Movie-Club/351277771553742.

Movies currently being shown at the Liberty include “Pete’s Dragon,” “Here Comes the Boom” and “End of Watch.” Coming attractions include “Life of Pi,” “Red Dawn,” “Argo,” “Flight” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” For more information, call 859-9555 or visit www.camasliberty.com.