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NOW SHOWING In Annville: Free Wi-Fi (Popcorn Extra)

October 1st, 2011 · Tags:Cities · Coffee Shops · Wi-Fi

What a treat … In Annville, Penn., just down the street from Lebanon Valley College is the Allen Theater and the adjoining MJ’a Coffeehouse At The Allen. The Wi-Fi, my featured event, is quite good, free, and trouble-free. When was the last time you sat in a cool coffee shop that also sells old school popcorn and shows art house films?

HA!  Annville!?! Wonder if they get lots of hammer jokes.  Football team – The Blacksmiths?  I digress …

MJ’s Coffeeshop At The Allen gets a perfect score … the Oscar of Pingywood … and here is why:

Right off the bat … I am lazy and have a fat arse from watching way too many movies and eating way too much hot buttery goodness, so I gave them good marks when I parked right out front directly across the street – no problems.

Next — Woody Allen’s (no relation) latest, “Midnight In Paris” is playing at the Allen next door … I may check out the film on another night, but this time i was all about the fiesta chicken soup and a hot chai latte in the cafe.

On the walls, there are movie star sketches and high up above the tables and the coffee bar there is a scary, coin-operated humanoid-like thing, suspended in chicken wire and neon above the cafe. (I have no idea …)

At the front door there is a festive, seasonal bale of hay and gourd/pumpkin decorations … next to the street-side seating, with quaint little tables and hip little lamps. … Of course I wondered how the Wi-Fi is out there … So, I decided to do a sound check while there were no smokers in sight.

As I table hopped to the sidewalk, I just happened to have Bob Marley playing in my earbuds on Absolute ReggaeTrade radio, via the Wi-Fi hotspot, and the over-played king of reggae never skipped a beat as I moved outdoors to check the signal, mon! BTW, the cafe has some pretty funky sitar music playing as well.

There is a gold star in the sidewalk outside … to honor the person who apparently resurrected this old theater – the late Mary Jane Hicks. Well played, MJ!

Another star in the place is the barrister who mixed up a tall, tall pumpkin spice milk shake for me. I was immediately drawn in by her t-shirt … “Scrantoncity” for all you diehard The Office fans … Perhaps I should go search for all things DunderMifflin in Scranton, while I am so close to that now famous city.

BTW, The Allen has been amed one of the 12 best local theaters in America. Check it out:

The Allen
More about the coffeeshop … near my table inside MJ’s, I was admiring some cool vintage family photos that looked to be about 100 years old. But alas, another barista came over, excused herself, and took all of the shots down — about 30 of them. They were her collection, both family shots and family portraiture on the wall. And I was just thinking about grabbing up one of the wedding portraits fo my own self. She saved the family heritage just in time … kidding.
Perhaps to compete without he humanoid suspended in the cage, beside the counter there is a glamorous mannequin near the condiments … also … abstract paintings. The cafe has ample seating … and of course some velvety ropes. There’s live jazz on Thursdays but it is not Thursday … Ha!


Excellent, free Wi-Fi.

Know what I sayin?