Magic Lantern Back in Spokane

By James Ziegler

It closed June of 2008, but now Spokane's premiere independent film venue is back in business with new ownership and new ideas.

Joseph Davis stumbled into the Magic Lantern in 2008 when he was promoting his short film “Fast Draw, Mt.”

“I showed the film and was like, 'this is a really cool spot',” Davis said.

He started asking around and when the Lantern tired to close it's doors for good, Davis swooped in to save the day. He had a new sort of vision for the Magic Lantern. He envisioned a theater where patrons can go to have a cup of coffee, take in the show and hang out discussing the movie afterward.

Coming in from the street, it's hard to tell you're about to walk into a theater. Up a small flight of stairs, a scattering of tables line two walls cozily. Behind a glass counter parallel to the third wall Liz Wilson, barista extraordinaire, works the espresso machines.

“Are you here for Anvil?” Wilson asks. “Hurry you're missing all the good stuff.”

With coffee, warm welcomes and, coming soon, beer and wine, the Magic Lantern is more than ever, a unique part of the Spokane cinema family.

SAN Welcomes New Director.

By James Ziegler

This July Spokane AIDS Network welcomed a new director. Tall and slim, brown hair pulled back, SAN's new addition Katie Coker, showed Spokane Metro Magazine in at the group's headquarters, a cozy three story home turned office building on the South Hill.

Coker's first encounter working with HIV positive clients came while on the ivory coast with the Peace Corps in 1991. She continued working in Africa and eventually went on to write her master's thesis on HIV.

Coming back to the states she had a choice between working in Washington D.C. and Spokane. While a part of her said to take the job in D.C., her family is here, in Spokane.

“One of the things that really struck me is the volunteers that we have . . . . That commitment to SAN, to me, implies a much deeper source and a much longer history,” Coker said. “I'm really kind of humbled by that level of commitment and again I just feel a real need to engage with those people who've been long term supporters of SAN.”

Tucked away in a sleepy neighborhood across from Hucklebee's, SAN has been helping the city's HIV positive community since 1987.

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