The lights will come on again!


The ByTowne is now closed. But there's good news!

After the pandemic has been brought under control,
new management will take over the space and the ByTowne will re-open.

It may take a while for pandemic restrictions to be eased enough
that a feasible number of patrons can be allowed to watch a movie again,
but the new owners are working towards that day.

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It's not what you think.

Poster art for the documentary Tickled, about competitive ticklingDavid Farrier is a New Zealand tv reporter whose beat is covering quirky human-interest stories – the sort of feel-good local-colour oddities that close out news shows with a look at the lighter side. In his search for fresh topics, he stumbled onto a subject that shocked even him: a bizarre online subculture of ‘competitive endurance tickling.’ These weren’t just harmlessly kinky soft-core fetish videos. They were organized, professionally made clips in which young, strapping men were paid to be tied up and tickled in marathon sessions. Who were the patrons of these ‘athletes’? And who exactly was the audience for this ‘sport’? Farrier needed to know. And what he’d discover would end up sucking him down a rabbit hole of techno-deviance and criminality.

When he approaches the shadowy company behind these videos, he’s not only stonewalled but also personally harassed. His sexual orientation is mocked, and he’s threatened with an avalanche of lawsuits if he digs any deeper. So he picks up his camera and dives in like Michael Moore raiding a sex dungeon to confront these cyberbullies. The further he goes, the freakier it gets.

As an exposé, Tickled is a compelling, stranger-than-fiction procedural. As a glimpse at the creepier corners of the internet, it’s a sobering snapshot of the dark side of digital anonymity in the 21st century. What starts as silly becomes nothing to laugh at.

– Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

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