Art house is once again in the house

When a civic institution is lost, the people suffer, though when the institution's a museum the people tend to suffer in silence. Probably? Filling a Dobie-sized void in arts people care about: Violet Crown Cinema, opening Friday.

Armed with an adjoining small-plate cocktail lounge seating 70 in plush purple velvet booths and on industrial-cool wooden bar stools, the VCC's an indie-only four-screener from the former CEO of Landmark Theatres and founder of the last thing queso-huffing party-hounds want to see on the internet, Magnolia Pictures. The exclusively digital-projection theatres range from 38-50 seats (including armchair + ottoman front rows slanted back to avoid neck crinks), with the debut night's films including Certified Copy, a Cannes-lauded Iranian drama of mistaken identity; In a Better World, the 2011 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, and Circo, which follows a rural Mexican circus family, as opposed to a Mexican Family Circus, which would still be the worst comic ever. Although you can't order from within the theater Drafthouse-style, you can sit down with food & drink from the bar, the latter consisting of classic cocktails (Aviations to Sazeracs) and 10 local brews including 5 Real Ales, Circle Amber, and Jester King's Commercial Suicide, aka, the Independent Movie.

Taking an indie spin even on their concessions, VCC's snacks are by a Fonda San Miguel chef, who's prepping everything from pizzas (Proscuitto, Quattro Formaggi, Margherita) to Vienna beef hot dogs -- mix four or five of those with booze, and your suffering will be very, very loud.