When Jeff Brein washed up on Bainbridge Island with years working at Disney under his belt and a love for movies, he couldn’t live without having access to the big screen right at his fingertips. Who wants to take a ferry boat to the big city when you can have a locally owned theater right in your back yard? With popcorn on the dinner menu, Jeff and his wife Merna liked to catch a flick at least once a week. That inspired him to expand his career from running Quinn/Brein a successful Public Relations agency to creating a second business, Far Away Entertainment.
First order of business was to build a first run theater on Bainbridge Island in 1997, with the town’s Mayor, Sam Granato. As a part of their new partnership, Jeff and Sam elected to preserve Sam’s Historic Lynwood Theatre because sometimes you’re in the mood for charm, independent fare and real butter on your popcorn. Today, you can find Jeff almost every Friday and Saturday night selling tickets or scooping popcorn at Bainbridge Cinemas.
From there the Far Away Entertainment motto became your small town theater and Jeff and various partners expanded into markets where the big guys don’t exist including:
- The Historic Admiral Theater – Two screens in West Seattle
- Anacortes Cinemas – Three screens
- Bainbridge Cinemas – Five screens at the Pavilion
- The Historic Lynwood Theatre – One screen art house
- Oak Harbor Cinemas – Three screens
- Ocean Shores Cinemas – Three screens seaside
- Olympic Cinemas – Four screens at the old Redwood Theater (now renovated)
- Stanwood Cinemas – Five screens in the Pavilion
- Varsity Theatre – Three screens in the University District