Your favorite neighborhood movie theater is growing up. Literally. Suns Cinema has officially finished renovating their second floor, putting in a second movie theater, bar and bathroom. Compared to the first floor, the space is darker and more minimalist, but it retains all the charm you’ve come to expect. There’s still a hodgepodge of vintage furniture, including some old school cinema seats and a gorgeous mid-century modern sofa (which were curated with the help of Meg Walsh). And there are still movie references everywhere, including the infamous Shining carpet and a Blade Runner inspired mural (done by Nessar Jahanbin). All the ingredients are there for a perfect Suns experience, but it feels a little more adult.
While we were scoping out the new space, we sat down with owners David Cabrera and Ryan Hunter Mitchell to talk about the future of Suns, their movie curation process and the movie Hot Shots! Part Deux.
What movie would best describe your first job?
Ryan Hunter Mitchell: What’s the pizza guy one? Patrick Dempsey? Or maybe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… It’s Loverboy! I made the pizzas. I wasn’t the lover boy.
David Cabrera: Waiting…? I don’t know. I feel like most of my first jobs were restaurants.
What movie would best describe your working relationship?Cabrera: Dumb and Dumber.
Mitchell: Uncle Buck… Stuck on You? Only Farrelly brothers movies.
What movie would best describe the new floor?
Mitchell: There’s obvious references. There’s a Shining rug and a Clockwork Orange font that says Suns Cinema.
Cabrera: And then Blade Runner.
Mitchell: The theater section is kind of a Kubrick thing, but it’s a lot more minimal than [the first floor] which is a lot of junk all over. Then the bar area is all Blade Runner and cyberpunk references. There’s a neon Atari sign. Our friend Nessar did this awesome mural that lights up of the pyramids from Blade Runner and then we got a stencil of the Frank Lloyd Wright Ennis House, which is Deckard’s apartment. We modeled the bar after his kitchen… And then we used wood that kind of looks like the Bradbury Building. Those are the literal ones.
Cabrera: Hot Shots! Part Deux.
Mitchell: Yeah, Hot Shots! Part Deux. That’s the emotional feeling. It’s like if you’ve ever gone to a bar and then really wanted to dip your hands into chocolate and then skittles, like the opening scene in Hot Shots! Part Deux.
What movie would best describe an average day at Suns Cinema?Mitchell: Night on Earth? I’m picking for David. The Jim Jarmusch film where they’re just driving cabs all night.
Cabrera: Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus.
Mitchell: Yeah, The Circus. That’s pretty adequate.
What movie would best describe the future of Suns Cinema?
Mitchell: I would say we’re closed by April of next year. [Laughs]
Cabrera: Back to the Future 4.
Mitchell: Hold on… Ninja Cop 2… Or Samurai Cop 2!
Cabrera: Samurai Cop 2 is terrible. We had to show Samurai Cop 2 in order to show Samurai Cop 1.
Mitchell: The future of Suns is The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.
Cabrera: The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Mitchell: In Killing of a Chinese Bookie, the club they own is just nuts. They show these antiquated vaudeville theater plays that he writes at the strip club. Even for the 70s it seems old school. It’s people kind of clinging to the 40s. Whatever his club is, that’s the future of Suns.
What movie would best describe D.C.’s film scene?
Cabrera: That’s mean… Isn’t there a movie called Taxi Cab?
Mitchell: DC Cab. That’s cool.
Cabrera: You were being more cynical, which I agree with.
Mitchell: The Room.
Cabrera: Just say The Room. Oh hi, Mark…
What movie would best describe your curation process?
Mitchell: The Room.
Cabrera: What is just an insane movie that makes no sense?
Mitchell: O.C. and Stiggs.
Mitchell: It’s just us trolling. No. I’m going to go with Good Will Hunting. It’s high math. That’s our curation process. We discovered that we’re geniuses.
What movie would best describe your career goals?
Mitchell: Life Aquatic.
Cabrera: Grand Budapest Hotel.
Mitchell: Taxi Driver?
Cabrera: Bring It On.
Mitchell: Sister Act 2.
What film would describe the best part of your job?
Cabrera: I’m just trying to think of a really good movie. Let the Right One In. It’s just a really good movie.
Mitchell: You aspire to lovingly care for a thing that you think is reciprocating it, but instead you’re just getting caught up in an abusive culture.
Cabrera: There we go.
Mitchell: Let the Right One In.
What film would describe the hardest part of your job?Mitchell: The Revenant. It’s just like that. Getting attacked by a grizzly twice. Or I’d say Fierce Creatures. I’m going to go with sequels. The second Fish Called Wanda. It’s just such a crazy elaborate thing and everything is falling apart, but just in time you have to pretend it’s all kept together. They had to pull off the con. Every night we have to pull off the con.
Cabrera: I’d say A Woman Under the Influence… Which is one of the most brutal movies ever.