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1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3456, thecharles.com

There are schmancier theaters and theaters with more and bigger screens, not to mention more snacks, 3D glasses, and video games in the lobby. But likely as not we go to the movies to see a good movie, and week in and week out, it's hard to beat the Charles on that score. In addition to its typical day-to-day mix of arty hits, indie comers, and foreign and documentary titles, the Charles serves up the Cinema Sundays sneak-preview-and-a-nosh screening/discussion series and hosts the annual Maryland Film Festival, an orgy of little-seen gems and film-nerd companionship. Even the (hopefully temporary) loss of its repertory series can't change the fact that when we're in the mood for a film, we always check the Charles first.

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