-

Jump to content



Photo
- - - - -

Review your favorite Movie Theater


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
64 replies to this topic

#1 of 65 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,587 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 02 2007 - 07:51 PM

Posted on behalf of a HTF member "Jonesy" (Geoff)

I recently started a blog with reviews of Movie Theatres, to help folks find the best cinemas and avoid the worst ones. I thought HTF readers might want to check it out, and maybe even submit a review. There are lots of posts griping about bad experiences and also many sharing the thrill of a great time at the movies.

The blog is here: http://movietheatrer...s.blogspot.com/

If you'd like to submit a review, reply to this thread. I'll duplicate it in the blog and be sure to credit the Home Theatre Forum.

Cheers,
Jonesy

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#2 of 65 Holadem

Holadem

    Lead Actor

  • 8,972 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 04 2000

Posted February 02 2007 - 09:04 PM

This may be of some use: http://hometheaterfo...ad.php?t=206642

--
H

#3 of 65 Adam_S

Adam_S

    Producer

  • 6,106 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 2001

Posted February 03 2007 - 09:47 AM

The Arclight Hollywood - Expensive, but the best sound and seating arrangements of any theater ever--except the cinerama dome, which is a nice novelty, but unpleasant in comparison to the rest of the multiplex. Each movie is introduced by ushers and you have assigned seating (but you can sneak to better seats if the movie isn't full). The biggest advantage to the arclight, though, is the membership program, which is free, and lets you earn points towards free movies, gift certificates and gets you a dollar discount on most movies currently running. Arclight is a three or four times a year experience (sometimes less) but is worth it and never fails to impress people.

The Egyptian Theatre (part of the American Cinematheque)
One of the best theatres in LA, the chairs are comfy, the armrests will move up, and the screen is fantastic and enormous. Most shows, even special rare screenings of classics never sell out and you don't have to worry about sitting too close. Unfortunately the front row is only about 12 feet from the thirty foot high screen, so I don't recommend anyone sit closer than the twelfth row, at least. They often program interesting material

Aero Theatre (part of the American cinematheque) a nice screen and usually better programming than the egyptian, but the seats are awful, the armrests don't move and the seating system is old school, not stadium, like the egyptian. You need to sit at least two thirds back to really enjoy the films. Aero draws great crowds though, and is usually more full than the egyptian, probably because it's more community oriented. The big drawback is parking. There is none, you'll need to park on a residential street within a four block (or more) radius, so arrive early and find a spot. Montana avenue is one of the great shopping secrets of Santa Monica, very chic if you're into that sort of thing. Many cool cafes and dining spots as well.

Graumann's Chinese theatre -
Best sound in LA, the seating sucks somewhat, but it's a great experience for big bombastic movies.

Graumann's Chinese 6
Tiny and overpriced, not worth the money.

Academy Samuel Goldwyn theatre
The best place in LA to see movies. It has pretty much the best and biggest screen, draws the best audiences, the screen is very far from the first row, so that makes the first five rows some of the best seats in the house, and they show some of the best film events in LA. Since it is the academy, the studios always insure that the best quality print is sent over, though this is sometimes embarassing for studios like Universal, whose print quality of old films is laughable in comparison to studios that really care like WB, Fox, Sony/Columbia, MGM, Disney, etc. Usually the latter studios will strike a new print, just for the academy screening, while Universal sends over a vintage print, circa whatever year the film came out.

LACMA Bing theatre
lame seating, and the screen can be cut off by the stage or side balustrades depending on where you're sitting. Get there early if it's a big event, sound is not great, PQ is good.

USC Norris theatre - Great place to see movies, seating is very uncomfortable but the sound is fantastic and PQ of prints is usually above average though projection can be spotty.

Laemmle Grande (Downtown) -
Worst theatre ever, the entire theatre smells of stale urine and other homeless people smells. Vile to go into, worth walking out after two minutes and not asking for your money back.

Flagship University 3 (USC)
better than it used to be, but the screen stays the same size no matter what ratio the picture is, so every 2.35 film is cropped. Screens are stained, theatre audience is awful. Good for midnight shows.

Pacific's The Grove
Great theatre, the workers have to dress up in bellhop costumes though, fantastic picture and sound, great seating, Third and fourth rows are my favorite in most of these theatres. Projection is usually well above average bordering on excellent. Audiences are respectful. Overpriced, but they will accept Group Activity Tickets for any movie except the newest releases for primetime Friday and Saturday showings. Grove will usually run up to five minutes of commercials before getting to the trailers. on top of charging the third highest rate in LA.

AMC Century City 15
welcome to hell, this is the worst parking garage of all time, Avoid this theatre because you'll need to arrive an hour early to find parking in the garage if you go to any showing on the weekend. weekdays are not bad, but it can take up to ten minutes to find your car and then another twenty to find out how to get out of the parking garage since they close most of the exits after 9. and if you forget to validate it will cost you twelve dollars for two hours, with validation it's free. Guess how I learned that one. It's also virtually impossible to find your way around the shopping center and I've been there a dozen times. Mazelike, horrendous place. The theatre itself is probably the second best multiplex in LA (after Arclight, ahead of Grove) it's cheaper than the Grove (still overpriced) but doesn't take Group Activity tickets except on select older films, they do have student discounts though. picture Quality and Sound Quality are the best of any multiplex other than the arclight. Projection has always been excellent, which is more than you can say for the Grove. The only reason to go is for the pre-noon $6 showings on Saturday and Sunday. Audiences are acceptable.

The Bridge Cinema du Lux
WAY overpriced. And parking is a flat $2 so carpool rather than meeting at the theatre. projection quality is middling to poor. picture quality slightly average and sound is above average. Audience quality is often awful. There is always plenty of parking and plenty of showings though. no student discounts on Fridays and Saturday is wretched. Second most expensive theatre in LA and no where near worth it.

The New Beverly
Yuck. Great programming, sticky, yucky cheap cheap cheap theatre. better to see these movies on DVD than watch them here. no parking

Nuart
Yuckier than New Bev. interesting programming, no parking. cheap and disgusting to be in.

SanFrancisco:
Metreon
Bascially the SF equivalent (in all ways) of The Bridge Cinema du Lux in Los Angeles except the parking situation (as in all of SF) is terrible
 

#4 of 65 Jonesy

Jonesy

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 55 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007

Posted February 03 2007 - 11:31 AM

Great reviews Adam!

Have you ever been to the Ontario Palace? I've heard great things about it and would love to read a full review.

Thanks,
Jonesy

#5 of 65 JohnRice

JohnRice

    Lead Actor

  • 8,552 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 20 2000
  • Real Name:John

Posted February 03 2007 - 01:39 PM

Ron, I know this isn't exactly what you are asking for, but I think it is worth writing. I have only known one of what I consider a truly great theater.

The Cooper - Denver Colorado
The Cooper was located on South Colorado Blvd in Denver, about a mile north of I-25. It was a reminder of when movies were events, not just a way to kill a few hours. It seated probably over 1,000 poeple, most of whom were virtually surrounded by its enormous Cinerama screen. The seats weren't as comfortable as the best stadium seating venues of today, but the sound system was top notch before movies were concerned with sound, and the projection was bright and clear.

My first experience with The Cooper was in the summer of 1971, just a few weeks short of my 7th birthday, when I was taken there to see Fiddler on the Roof. I had no idea the significance of what I was seeing, but I was hooked. Most movie fans my age became so due to Star Wars, but this was the day that would do it for me. Through the years I traveled the 65 miles to see all three original Star Wars films there, as well as so many more. I drove there during summer and Christmas breaks when I was home from college. I regularly traveled there after college. Even though I lived in Texas then, I often worked in Denver. The final film I saw at The Cooper, suitably I suppose, was Ben-Hur, and the greatest experience of my movie going life. Then it was torn down to make space for another much needed Barnes & Noble. Progress isn't such a great thing.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#6 of 65 Kirk Tsai

Kirk Tsai

    Screenwriter

  • 1,424 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 01 2000

Posted February 03 2007 - 09:34 PM

Did Adam intentionally miss the Westwood theaters because of the USC-UCLA reasons? Posted Image

National and Village are two of the best old time, single screen theaters, along with the Chinese. Great sound and screen, and top notch prints. Watching movies at these places, and then even other respectable theater chains, I really thank there is a difference between the prints the theaters receive. I haven't been to National and Village in a while, but they used to have the opening curtain tradition too, which adds a touch of class. Only downside is that Westwood parking is never good; most patrons would have to go for the paid lots. Crowds are good, with lots of students. Big movie events are a blast, and of course a lot of movie premieres there if you want to catch celebrity sightings. Seats are not great.

The Castro in San Francisco: again, another old time, single screen experience. Great, great programming, with some unique fun experiences too. Just went to the Grease Sing Along, with people dressing up, the theater handing out little items related to the movie, dancing in the isle, the whole deal. Live organ play before every movie always stirs up the crowd. Downside? Again, parking, with not even paid lots. On weekends and evenings, parking on the streets are free, but daytime is a 2 hour limit. It's in the Castro district, so those who are wary or disagrees with the homosexual life style, beware.

Completely agree with Adam on the Samuel Goldwyn theater, which also includes a lot of special events and full package features (cartoons, newsreels, etc.). And of course agree on Arclight.

The UCLA theater (name escapes me right now) has a lot of special programming, which is often open to public. For any students there, or those only taking summer school, please enroll in the basic intro to film class, where lots of classic films are shown with great quality prints, with a great screen.

Good to hear about the Aero doing better. It's historical Santa Monica. It was not drawing any crowds in the late 90s, when it operated essentially as a second run theater.

#7 of 65 Adam_S

Adam_S

    Producer

  • 6,106 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 2001

Posted February 04 2007 - 05:18 AM

Well, I've not really been to any of the Westwood theatres, so I can't really review them. Not due to any USC/ UCLA rivalry, but rather if I'm in Westwood it's for Diddy Reise, not movies. Posted Image Never been to the Ontario Palace.
 

#8 of 65 Hayes Preston

Hayes Preston

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 183 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 15 1999

Posted February 10 2007 - 01:25 PM

Hey Geoff, great blog...

A few words about the AFI Silver in Silver Spring MD. The AFI Silver is a rare thing, a modern theater with state of the art projection (to include but not exclusively digital) and sound, combined with the film choices of the American Film Institute. You are just as likely to see a new "art house" film as you are to see a classic Kurosawa of Kubrick. The main theater in the AFI Silver is also equipped with 70mm (they show Lawrence of Arabia once a week every summer!)

On to another theater:

The Senator in Baltimore http://www.senator.com/

Before (or after) you read my review please check the Senator's websight or this thread http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/showthread.php?t=251790

The Senator is not just a theater, it's a landmark, a haven for film lovers, a center piece to for Urban renewal and home to very nice dog.

The owner of the theater is part of what makes it so special. He LOVES movies, seriously, I thought I was a movie geek, he is THE movie geek. He stays up with the fans all night while waiting to see the midnight premier of Star Wars. He personally greets filmgoers prior to every show. He hosts special events like Lord of the Rings Trilogy day, Star Wars Saga screenings, almost every premier of John Waters movies, and other national and regional premiers. When Ladder 49 was released he worked with the Baltimore City Fire Department to have the real ladder 49 truck parked in front of the theater for the entire opening weekend.

The concession area makes excellent fresh popcorn and features real drinks like cream soda and root beer (they also have standard fountain drinks and candy)

Did I mention the theater itself? The Senator is hands down the best sounding theater I have ever heard, and I have been to many theaters (East and West Coast) If you see an action movie at the Senator and then go to see the same movie at a multi-plex, you may think that there is something wrong with the sound at the later. The screen is huge and very brite (Tom does not play the dim-the-bulb game!) and the interior of the theater (lobby included) is beautifully restored to it's original art deco elegance.

There is also a private "sky box" at the Senator which you can rent for a very reasonable price. The private area is upstair and patron watch the movie from behind soundproof glass, in rooms on either side of the projection booth. The sound proof glass is so you can enjoy your own food and drink (alcohol is allowed) and not disturb the movie in the main auditorium. Each private room has its own sound system with volume control. When you rent to private area, you can bring your own food and drink kas mentioned, the Senator has two rules, no crabs (this is Maryland remember) and no kegs, that's it.

One last thing, the owner Tom plays a mean set of bongos.

#9 of 65 Adam_S

Adam_S

    Producer

  • 6,106 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 2001

Posted February 10 2007 - 10:44 PM

The UCLA theatre is now known as the Billy Wilder theatre, they have a great program of films, I will probably try it out sometime soon.

I forgot to mention the Aero only 'seems' more full. The Egyptian is a 618 theatre with a balcony. The Aero is a 437 seat theatre.
 

#10 of 65 Nick C.

Nick C.

    Second Unit

  • 251 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 27 2001

Posted February 11 2007 - 08:52 AM

Some local theaters in the east SF Bay Area...

Landmark Shattuck Cinemas, Berkeley
With 10 screens, this used to be the premiere mini-plex for art house and limited releases in the east/south bay, but competition in the south bay and across the bridge in San Francisco have surpassed their selection, and more importantly, viewing experience. Because the Landmark chain operates several theaters in the area, and with competition, one may not find all the exclusive artfare, but it's a decent intermediary between high brow and blockbuster (the largest Hollywood tentpole usually shows down the block at the UA Berkeley 7). Two large screens in the back, small and smaller screens otherwise. Don't arrive late or sit in the back, you'll have far from optimal viewing experiences in the small theaters. As far as I can recall, there are no stairs to worry about (aside from the two large screens which feature a second level of seats), which is conducive for movement for the elderly/disabled, but also meaning you're relying on the shallow seat placement slope and short audiences to enable sight lines. Sound is also subpar, which can dramatically diminish even artfare which rely on moving orchestral soundtracks; walls are thin and don't isolate particularly well. Neat postcard/pens/mementos and cardboard movie advertisement/posters line the main hall way, and some of the decor (one of the larger screens is decorated with wallpaper/moldings bearing an Egyptian theme) are attractive features of the theater. On the negative end, seats are very aged and uncomfortable, several times I've found my sensitive rear subjected to springs protected by millimeter thin upholstery that are ready to pop out at any moment; seats are all fixed armrest with some reclining. Hygiene is something to be lacking, on two separate occasions I've seen rats/mice scuttering in the theater aisles, not to mention tiny and dirty toilet stalls/urinals in the men's room. Needless to say, I've never bought more than sealed candy from the food vendor counter there. The ticket booth accepts credit cards, so no need to be forced to pay ATM fees. Finally, as for transportation, the theater is located in the urban downtown area of Berkeley (convenient for shopping/eating nearby), so free parking can be difficult to find unless you're willing to walk several blocks. There are several pay lots within a few blocks distance, but if possible, I'd recommend public transport in the form of BART (subway/train system), since the downtown Berkeley stop is only a block away from the theater.

Century 25 Theater, Union City
At 25 screens, as far as I know, still the largest cinema in the Bay Area. Relatively new facilities located in a relatively suburban area immediately off the I-880/Alvarado-Niles exit. Stadium seating throughout, excellent sound and sight lines (aside from the frontmost rows in every screen, which are much too close). Alternate between reclining and love seating (lifting armrests) every row. Cash only, tickets are priced a bit higher ($0.50-$1.25 more) than some other local chains, but nothing exorbitant. Showings usually start at noon during weekends/Fridays/holidays, a bit earlier during school recesses. Good selection of films, all the latest blockbusters and some smaller pictures as well, especially during the Oscar season. Generally clean and well lit bathroom, three vending counters, with the smaller counters opening up later in the day. The screens are split in to two wings, 12 on one side, 13 the other. Very crowded on weekends and holidays, parking is now very difficult to find, this is the case year round, with retail shops, services and restaurants opening up seemingly every few months, not to mention the parking lot itself is difficult to navigate with its curves and walkways.

And some more theaters in the south SF Bay Area...

(To be continued)
later Pooh...

#11 of 65 Lord Dalek

Lord Dalek

    Screenwriter

  • 2,069 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 04 2005

Posted February 12 2007 - 10:15 AM

There aren't that many great theaters in the Portland area since REG started cutting older ones like the Eastgate, Koin Center, and Rose Moyer down with a scythe but here are some of my favorites.

Cinema 21, Portland OR.

If it wasn't for the Hollywood, this would be the primo art house theater in town. Great seats, popcorn, and it still has a curtain. Top that, Fox Tower!

Hollywood Theater, Portland OR.

This one is so famous they named an entire neighborhood after it. Despite being restored, this one's main auditorium is still a little bit creepy. Chairs suck and it is a little bit on the expensive side but its the only theater left in town with the gall to show stuff in 70mm.

Lloyd Cinemas, Portland OR

From a Portland perspective this is and remains the ultimate multiplex. One of the last theaters built by the Tom Moyer chain before they packed it in and still extremely impressive. The Giant Screen (which was originally designed for 70mm) preports to be the largest non-IMAX film screen in Portland if not Oregon and I seriously believe em. Easily the best non Stadium Riser megaplex in town.

Cinemagic, Portland OR

A quiet intimate little mini arthouse burried out on Hawthorne. The sound blows but its just so homely.

#12 of 65 rich_d

rich_d

    Screenwriter

  • 1,997 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 21 2001
  • Real Name:Rich
  • LocationConnecticut

Posted February 13 2007 - 04:28 AM

Landmark E Street Cinema
555 11th St. NW, Washington, DC - (202) 452-7672

Terrific 8 screen multiplex around the corner from the Old Ford Theatre in downtown Washington D.C. It is an independent and foreign film lovers delight as that is primarily what they show. Let’s put it this way, those in NYC that go to the Film Forum would throw up in their sad ass seats if they were to see this downtown oasis. They also have film festivals where they feature films of a specific country and such. The theatre is modern and lovely and the viewing experience is fine. The audience is not your typical popcorn munching, container unwrapping lot so be prepared for quiet.

http://www.landmarkt....reetCinema.htm

Jacob Burns Film Center
TOWN: PLEASANTVILLE, NY 10570
ADDRESS: 364 Manville Road
PHONE: 914-773-7663
http://burnsfilmcenter.org/

Appreciative crowd here, one of the few places in the country people actually line up for independent/older films. Screens are large, appreciative crowd, life is good. They also have a decent number of director film screenings and film lecturers etc. On Oscar night they are having a beer and wine thing while showing the awards ceremony. No throwing food at the screen allowed.

Cinestudio
300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT
06106 - 3173
http://www.cinestudio.org/index2.htm

Neat theatre showing a fairly eclectic bunch of films (currently showing Lynch’s Inland Empire with Casablanca showing tonight). Seats are nothing to write home about but they have guest speakers and the audience is appreciative. They have 70 mm projector so they can show Lawrence in all its glory. (I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey here as a kid).


The Lafayette
97 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern, NY, 10901
http://www.bigscreen...exlafayette.htm

Built in 1924, this is one of the grand single screen theatres in the greater Metro NY area. They show first run films during the week with a mixture of older films mixed in on the weekends along with some special “theme” events a few times a year. They also have a grand “Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ” which makes me remember shows ‘back in the day’ at the Bushnell Theatre (in Hartford) and the Radio City Music Hall. The organ plays at special events and weekend shows for sure. Also, the acoustics are pretty darn good for an old and large theatre and the management and employees a very friendly group.

I also concur with Hayes opinion about the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland with one clarification; it’s not a modern theatre so much as it is a restored/renovated theatre. The Silver goes back decades, in fact, one of the shots in the lobby features The Silver showing Marie Antoinette (1938).

#13 of 65 Zen Butler

Zen Butler

    Producer

  • 5,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 24 2002

Posted February 13 2007 - 10:03 AM

The Arclight Hollywood - for first run films and the occassional revival there is not a theater better equipped. I think they also have a policy no tickets after 5 minutes of the film starting, which is never a problem because I'm never tardy. Clean, great seating and the sound is awesome. Expensive but classy and worth the extra few bucks. Solid presentation all the way. Not only for first run either I've seen(2001: A Space Odyssey(35), Blade Runner, Citizen Kane etc.) and it's always first rate. There are other theaters in LA(Graumans Chinese Theatre, Laemmle) and many with more "character" than the Arc but I'm not paying for your character. I want top-rate sound, picture, comfort and no flippin' late arrivers interrupting my shit. Arc has it.

bladerunner-thumb-510x227-39115_zpse210a


#14 of 65 Jonesy

Jonesy

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 55 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007

Posted February 14 2007 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for all the posts!

John, I agree- the Cooper was special. The executives at United Artists that failed to keep it in operation really screwed up. That theatre was irreplacable.

That said, bravo to the folks that made a success of the single screen Continental in Denver, by building 5 new screens alongside the giant auditorium, instead of tearing it down or splitting it up.

Rich, have you ever been to the Uptown in D.C? I hear that one is fantastic. I'd love to get a review.

Keep the reviews coming. And don't hesitate to review your least favorite theatres as well.

Geoff

#15 of 65 Jerome Grate

Jerome Grate

    Screenwriter

  • 2,933 posts
  • Join Date: May 23 1999

Posted February 16 2007 - 08:34 AM

The Ziegfield Theater NYC - It was a real treat when I saw Star Wars III there. The digital picture was outstanding, and the sound was literally all round you. Seating was quite comfortable, overall a great theater.

AMC Theater Columbia SC. - When I visit my Mother in law down there, we make the effort to go to this theater. The kids and I saw Ant Bully and in most theaters, for some reasons, suppress the sound when it comes to kid's films, (I guess not to startle the kids), but this theater had some really good sound distribution. Booster seats for the smaller kids and wide seating. This is a multi plex and I'm surprise of the quality and size of each theeater.

The worst is located in Poughkeepsie N.Y. @ the South Hills Mall. The name of the theater escapse me but I'll have the name when I get home tonight. terrible sound, in fact they use the old Dolby Surround trailer, never Dolby Digital. Just one crappy theater.

Second worst is a theater in Orangeburg SC. Let's just say it's almost like watching a big t.v.
Listen Up People.., Rack Em and Pack Em.., We're Phantoms in 15.

#16 of 65 XxElakenxX

XxElakenxX

    Auditioning

  • 1 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 21 2007

Posted February 23 2007 - 08:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_S
The Arclight Hollywood - Expensive, but the best sound and seating arrangements of any theater ever--except the cinerama dome, which is a nice novelty, but unpleasant in comparison to the rest of the multiplex. Each movie is introduced by ushers and you have assigned seating (but you can sneak to better seats if the movie isn't full). The biggest advantage to the arclight, though, is the membership program, which is free, and lets you earn points towards free movies, gift certificates and gets you a dollar discount on most movies currently running. Arclight is a three or four times a year experience (sometimes less) but is worth it and never fails to impress people.

The Egyptian Theatre (part of the American Cinematheque)
One of the best theatres in LA, the chairs are comfy, the armrests will move up, and the screen is fantastic and enormous. Most shows, even special rare screenings of classics never sell out and you don't have to worry about sitting too close. Unfortunately the front row is only about 12 feet from the thirty foot high screen, so I don't recommend anyone sit closer than the twelfth row, at least. They often program interesting material

Aero Theatre (part of the American cinematheque) a nice screen and usually better programming than the egyptian, but the seats are awful, the armrests don't move and the seating system is old school, not stadium, like the egyptian. You need to sit at least two thirds back to really enjoy the films. Aero draws great crowds though, and is usually more full than the egyptian, probably because it's more community oriented. The big drawback is parking. There is none, you'll need to park on a residential street within a four block (or more) radius, so arrive early and find a spot. Montana avenue is one of the great shopping secrets of Santa Monica, very chic if you're into that sort of thing. Many cool cafes and dining spots as well.

Graumann's Chinese theatre -
Best sound in LA, the seating sucks somewhat, but it's a great experience for big bombastic movies.

Graumann's Chinese 6
Tiny and overpriced, not worth the money.

Academy Samuel Goldwyn theatre
The best place in LA to see movies. It has pretty much the best and biggest screen, draws the best audiences, the screen is very far from the first row, so that makes the first five rows some of the best seats in the house, and they show some of the best film events in LA. Since it is the academy, the studios always insure that the best quality print is sent over, though this is sometimes embarassing for studios like Universal, whose print quality of old films is laughable in comparison to studios that really care like WB, Fox, Sony/Columbia, MGM, Disney, etc. Usually the latter studios will strike a new print, just for the academy screening, while Universal sends over a vintage print, circa whatever year the film came out.

LACMA Bing theatre
lame seating, and the screen can be cut off by the stage or side balustrades depending on where you're sitting. Get there early if it's a big event, sound is not great, PQ is good.

USC Norris theatre - Great place to see movies, seating is very uncomfortable but the sound is fantastic and PQ of prints is usually above average though projection can be spotty.

Laemmle Grande (Downtown) -
Worst theatre ever, the entire theatre smells of stale urine and other homeless people smells. Vile to go into, worth walking out after two minutes and not asking for your money back.

Flagship University 3 (USC)
better than it used to be, but the screen stays the same size no matter what ratio the picture is, so every 2.35 film is cropped. Screens are stained, theatre audience is awful. Good for midnight shows.

Pacific's The Grove
Great theatre, the workers have to dress up in bellhop costumes though, fantastic picture and sound, great seating, Third and fourth rows are my favorite in most of these theatres. Projection is usually well above average bordering on excellent. Audiences are respectful. Overpriced, but they will accept Group Activity Tickets for any movie except the newest releases for primetime Friday and Saturday showings. Grove will usually run up to five minutes of commercials before getting to the trailers. on top of charging the third highest rate in LA.

AMC Century City 15
welcome to hell, this is the worst parking garage of all time, Avoid this theatre because you'll need to arrive an hour early to find parking in the garage if you go to any showing on the weekend. weekdays are not bad, but it can take up to ten minutes to find your car and then another twenty to find out how to get out of the parking garage since they close most of the exits after 9. and if you forget to validate it will cost you twelve dollars for two hours, with validation it's free. Guess how I learned that one. It's also virtually impossible to find your way around the shopping center and I've been there a dozen times. Mazelike, horrendous place. The theatre itself is probably the second best multiplex in LA (after Arclight, ahead of Grove) it's cheaper than the Grove (still overpriced) but doesn't take Group Activity tickets except on select older films, they do have student discounts though. picture Quality and Sound Quality are the best of any multiplex other than the arclight. Projection has always been excellent, which is more than you can say for the Grove. The only reason to go is for the pre-noon $6 showings on Saturday and Sunday. Audiences are acceptable.

The Bridge Cinema du Lux
WAY overpriced. And parking is a flat $2 so carpool rather than meeting at the theatre. projection quality is middling to poor. picture quality slightly average and sound is above average. Audience quality is often awful. There is always plenty of parking and plenty of showings though. no student discounts on Fridays and Saturday is wretched. Second most expensive theatre in LA and no where near worth it.

The New Beverly
Yuck. Great programming, sticky, yucky cheap cheap cheap theatre. better to see these movies on DVD than watch them here. no parking

Nuart
Yuckier than New Bev. interesting programming, no parking. cheap and disgusting to be in.

SanFrancisco:
Metreon
Bascially the SF equivalent (in all ways) of The Bridge Cinema du Lux in Los Angeles except the parking situation (as in all of SF) is terrible

Awesome review. The theaters I've been to (Arclight, Bridge, Pacific The Grove, Norris, Flagship, and Grauman's Chinese) I can pretty much agree with. I'll have to check out the other theaters you listed. As a USC student with no car, that could be difficult.

Thanks Adam

#17 of 65 ThomasC

ThomasC

    Lead Actor

  • 6,526 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 15 2001

Posted February 28 2007 - 04:47 AM

Arena Grand Theatre - Columbus, OH
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image out of Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
All 8 auditoriums in this downtown Columbus multiplex are THX-certified, and it has lived up to that certification every time I have been there. For starters, THX certification makes sure that a movie with big sound like Star Wars won't be heard at all in the next auditorium.

Projection and sound quality have been top-notch in most cases; there was this issue, but I talked to an employee (who happened to be a high school classmate) about it and I haven't experienced that problem since. Also, there is a train route near the theater and you will hear the train when it toots its horn. Thankfully, only one train has come by while I've been in the theatre.

The popcorn has always tasted a bit stale, so I can only stand to eat a small bag's worth if I add seasoning or the artificial butter.

Parking is $1 for up to 4 hours in an adjacent garage.

#18 of 65 unotis

unotis

    Extra

  • 20 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 26 2006

Posted February 28 2007 - 05:31 AM

I'm not the biggest fan of the entertainment available in Wichita, Kansas but, that said the several Warren theaters that are there are much better than any other theaters I've ever been to anywhere else in the world.

They have balconies, large comfortable chairs, state of the art sound systems and incredible decorating that calls back to a bygone era.

They even have restaurants inside the theater area, different types and styles (Bistros, Cafes, hamburger stands, etc.).

I remember going to theaters when I was young and having the interiors designed to look like you were sitting in some sort of courtyard in a castle and when you looked up there were even stars in the ceiling to make it look like the night sky. these theaters have the same effects.

They make me want to go back to movie theaters instead of only renting DVDs and watching them at home.Posted Image

#19 of 65 Jason Harbaugh

Jason Harbaugh

    Screenwriter

  • 2,968 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 30 2001

Posted April 07 2007 - 08:10 PM

United Artist Colorado Mills Stadium 16 and West Village Stadium 12

This is a dual review since these are sister theaters in that they are across the street from each other, and neither shows the same films. So new releases will be on one or the other.

UA Colorado Mills Stadium 16 & Giant Screen
14500 West Colfax Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80401
303-590-1630
Fandango Page

This is the newer of the two theaters and was built along side the new Colorado Mills mall in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a large 16 screen theater with 3 very distinct screens that almost always guarantee a good time at the movies.

Screen 10, their biggest screen is the 70mm (Imax) screen. While they can play Imax features here, it isn't the same as a true dedicated Imax cinema. The screen is smaller, and they can't boast the same sound capabilities. Most new features play on this screen and it is a wonderful theater. I happened to see the very first film and screening ever in this particular theater. It was Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers. 100% packed house, the picture was gorgeous and the sound rocking. Needless to say, this theater had me at hello. Posted Image The screen is a constant width, variable height. So 2.35:1 films will be smaller than 1.85:1, and then of course it opens up to its full height with Imax films. It is a very nice sized screen overall. The projector is quite bright and I have never had a complaint from anything I've seen there.

Screen 9 serves a dual purpose as it has a stage as well for kids productions. The screen in terms of 2.35 and 1.85 films is the same as the Imax screen. These two screens are their largest and what you want to see your movie on, with the exception of the 3rd recommended screen.

Their DLP screen is a tad smaller than screen 9 and 10, but the image quality is incredible. This screen is also possible of 3D.

All these screens have stadium seating from top to bottom. The seats are all tall with folding arm rests. Turn two seats into a cozy love seat with your date if you wish. No chance of anyone blocking your view as the stadium style seating is quite steep.

Sound quality is the same throughout most of the screens. I refuse to watch a film on the smaller screens so I can't compare them.

The lobby is quite large with games, customer service and of course concessions. Parking is available in the mall parking lot or in 4 story parking garage next to the theater.

20 minutes before the time on your ticket, an entertainment segments and commercials play. These range from trailers for tv and film, behind the scenes stuff, and other paid for ads. As soon as the ticket time hits, the official trailers start.

I can't think of a time where I was disappointed with the presentation of any film at this theater. Everything is in focus, sound levels are appropriate and the patrons are usually respectful. It is also one of the few theaters in town that will play catalog titles.

Overall, this is my number one choice for seeing a movie in the Denver metro area.

UA Denver West Village Stadium 12
14225 W. Colfax Ave.
Golden, CO 80401
303-278-1943
Fandango Page

Across the street from the mall and the Stadium 16 theater sits the Stadium 12. It is slightly older and run by the same company, Regal Entertainment. This theater used to boast THX certification. Back when MI:2 was released I had never been more disappointed in a presentation before. A light in the ceiling stayed on for 20 minutes during the film that shined right into my seating area and the sound was playing in stereo instead of surround. I wrote a complaint to THX on their website and curiously enough, all of the theaters THX signs were missing a couple months later. They have cleaned up their act since then.

There are 2 screens that I try to watch films on at this theater and they are identical. Screen 8, and Screen 9. They are the two largest, with stadium seating and very good sound systems. Screen 6 and Screen 7 are slightly smaller, and most of the time take spillover from the films playing on 8 or 9. Not my first choice, but they are better than most. The rest of the screens are tiny multiplex screens that I would avoid.

Stadium seating is the theme here as well. The seats are starting to get worn, are short, and have fixed arm rests. Not as comfortable as the Stadium 16. The tiers aren't as steep, but you shouldn't have anyone blocking your view.

Smaller lobby with concessions and a few games . There are consessions outside of screen 8 and 9, but it is only open during the weekends or during popular screenings.

This theater plays the same 20 minute ad pack as the Stadium 16. The official trailers start at the time on your ticket.

I haven't had the same problems I did back when this theater claimed THX certified and I believe most of that has to do with new management. I feel comfortable knowing I will have a good time viewing a new release on any of the above mentioned screens at this theater.

Overall, these two theaters, under current management, are quite good and remain my first choice when checking out a new release.

#20 of 65 Jonesy

Jonesy

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 55 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 01 2007

Posted April 08 2007 - 08:36 AM

Thanks for the great reviews, Jason - I've archived them at "MovieTheatrereviews.blogspot.com."

The auditoriums you call out sound nice. You mentioned that "[Colorado Mills] is also one of the few theaters in town that will play catalog titles." Can you provide any more information about that?

Have you been to the Main House at the Continental? That's my favorite theatre anywhere. Posted Image

Cheers,
Jonesy