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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinema Yak   » What's the best theatre in your area? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: What's the best theatre in your area?
Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted June 06, 2005 04:43 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if we've already asked this specific question, but I'll try it anyway.

Which theatre does everybody consider to be the best in their area? Obviously that's a broad question as far as where are we aiming the judgement, but perhaps we can list a few types of theatres.

And better yet, if Cinematour doesn't have a picture of your local bests, maybe take some time over the coming few weeks to go out and take a quick picture or two of the theatres.

My bests:

I'd like to include the best worst theatre still operating, but I know some people who might take offense at me naming their theatre. But if you can name some in your area, I'd love to hear about them.
Hopefully this catches on. Post people! Post!

I'll post more if I think of good categories. [Cool]

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Tom Mundell

Posts: 93
From: Silver Spring, MD
Registered: Nov 2003

 - posted June 09, 2005 02:33 PM      Profile for Tom Mundell   Author's Homepage   Email Tom Mundell         Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm, no ones posted yet?

My favourites are:
AMC Framingham 16
AMC Braintree 10
Landmark Embassy 6

Unfortunately the AMC's (formerly General Cinema's) haven't survived the AMCification terribly well. The picture/sound presentation isn't quite as stellar as it once was and I particularly miss the use of the curtains in the large auditoriums. But I've yet to find anything better nearby, so they remain on my favourites list (at least for now). For multiplexes, I think all three of these have rather neat looking buildings with great auditoriums.

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted June 09, 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
In the Boston area, my favorites:

Brattle Theatre, Cambridge: best single screen (and these days, almost the only single screen around)

Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline: best classic old theatre (now 2 screens, plus video screening room)

Somerville Theatre, Somerville: best multiplex (original 1914 auditorium intact with 900+ seats including balcony; often used for live shows; four additional cinemas added in the 1990s)

Honorable mentions to the Capitol Theatre in Arlington (six-screen multiplex, same ownership as the Somerville), the Studio Cinema in Belmont (another rare single screen), and the
West Newton Cinema in Newton (an intelligently programmed, locally owned art multiplex)

Best closed theatre would have to be the Paramount in downtown Boston. The facade, marquee, and vertical sign have been gloriously restored (and are occasionally lit), but the inside is still a mess. Emerson College plans to renovate the interior into two live stages. Don't know if they'll also equip it to show films again.

[ June 09, 2005, 08:48 PM: Message edited by: Ron Newman ]

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted June 09, 2005 08:03 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
There are quite a few of us in LA. Our opinions will undoubtedly vary. But this is my list:

Best Drive-In Theatre: Mission Tiki Drive-In - Montclair, CA: One of the 4 remaining drive-in movie theatres left in the LA area...and the best! 4 Screens that just got upgraded with a new projection system called Technalight. A great way to spend a Saturday night!

Best Orange County Multiplex: Century Stadium 25- Orange, CA: Forget Irvine Spectrum. For awesome theatrical presentation, this is the place to be. 25 Screens. All Digital Sound. All Stadium Seating. All THX. It's practically a moviegoer's orgasm! We shall see if the new Century Huntington Beach steals the crown from this place.

Best San Bernardino Area Multiplex: Edwards Ontario Mills Stadium 22- Ontario, CA Big Screens. Big Sound. Big Stadium Seating. The highlight of this place is "The Grand Palace" with 750 Seats and an 80 foot screen. The other auditoriums ain't too shabby, either. It has an IMAX too!

A Shout-Out to The Classic Palaces: Grauman's Chinese Theatre-Hollywood, CA (Nothing beats an American original.) Westwood Village, Bruin & National-Westwood, CA (The National is my favorite.), and Regal/Edwards Newport-Newport Beach, CA (The main auditorium is the biggest and the best in O.C.)

Best LA Multiplex: Arclight Hollywood-Hollywood, CA Arguably the best sound/screens/picture in LA. This place can even turn an art-house flick into an event!


Best Movie Theatre in Los Angeles: The Cinerama Dome. What more can I say about that magnificent golf ball on Sunset Blvd! 86 foot wide screen...20,000 watts of sound...a wonderful place to see a movie!

[ June 12, 2005, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: Chris Utley ]

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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted June 10, 2005 03:30 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Surprised not to see the Nuart on a Los Angeles list.

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted June 10, 2005 07:39 AM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
Surprised not to see the Nuart on a Los Angeles list.
Like I said, my list was my opinion. Other LA folks will chime in with theirs...

I've been to the Nuart a few times and, frankly, I wasn't all that impressed. Probably because I'm not that into the Art/Foreign scene.

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Bill Gabel

Posts: 288
From: New York, NY
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted June 10, 2005 08:25 AM      Profile for Bill Gabel           Edit/Delete Post 
For the New York City area:

Best Architecture All the former Loew's Wonder Theatres.

Best Modern Multi-plex Loews Lincoln Square

Best Single Screening Theatre running First Run films
Clearview's Ziegfeld Theatre

Best Closed Theatre Loew's Kings & Loews Astor Plaza

Favorites no longer with us
  • Loew's Capital
    Paramount Times Square
For Los Angeles
Best Architecture
  • Wiltern Theatre
    Pantages Theatre
    Los Angeles Theatre
Best Modern Multi-plex ArcLight Cinerama complex
Best Single Screen running First Run films
  • Mann's Chinese (Main house)
    Mann's Village Theatre
    Mann's National Theatre
    Pacific's El Capitan Theatre
Best Closed Theatre
Warners Hollywood Theatre (for regular public screenings)
Favorites no longer with us
  • Warner Beverly Hills Theatre
    Picwood Theatre
    Fox Criterion Theatre (Santa Monica)
The Nuart Theatre is just ok for what it is.

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Roger Katz

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted June 11, 2005 04:35 AM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
The best place to see a movie in Connecticut is Holiday Cinemas 10 in Waterbury.

Best restorations of former movie theatres are the Palace Theatre in Waterbury and the Warner Theatre in Torrington.

The best old movie theatre operating is the Avon Theatre in Stamford.

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Kevin Dupruy
New Member

Posts: 10
From: Baton Rouge, LA
Registered: Mar 2005

 - posted June 12, 2005 01:17 PM      Profile for Kevin Dupruy   Author's Homepage           Edit/Delete Post 
Well, if you read any of my posts, you already know.
.Rave Motion Pictures Baton Rouge 16.
Although I can't wait for the new Cinemark to open next year.

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The Evil Sam Graham

Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted June 12, 2005 07:23 PM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
In the Des Moines-Ames, Iowa greater metro (referred to locally as the "Golden Circle")...

BEST MULTIPLEX: Century 20 Jordan Creek. The sound is always awesome, the seats are universally raved about, and they have Nathan's Famous hot dogs.

BEST ATTEMPT AT RETRO PALACE DECOR: Five of the nine auditoriums each at Fridley Springwood 9 and Fridley Copper Creek 9 (which are identical twins when it comes to the auditoriums)



BEST THEATRE TO ASK "WHY IN THE HECK ARE THEY STILL OPEN?": Merle Hay Cinema, an 800-seat single screener with Dolby Digital EX and THX certification that NOBODY goes to

BEST CRAPPY OLD FOUR-PLEX: The Fleur Cinema and Cafe, which plays great independent movies like "Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill", and "Mr & Mrs Smith".

BEST FIRST-RUN VALUE: Cinemark Movies 12 ($6.50 weeknights)



MOST TRAGIC LOSS OF A CINEMA IN RECENT YEARS: The Southeast 14th Drive-In, which did a booming business right up to the end when Central States said "It wasn't for sale, but Menard's offered us soooo much money for the property." (Apologies aside for those mourning the demolition of the Cinema III porno house earlier this year.)

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Brad Erickson

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006

 - posted May 15, 2006 05:04 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 

Mann Village
Mann National
Mann Bruin


Grauman's Chinese
Arclight, Hollywood


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Ron Newman

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted May 16, 2006 04:18 AM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
No others that matter? the Crest? the Nuart? the Vista? the Aero? the Silent Movie?

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Chris Utley
Senior Member

Posts: 631
From: Torrance, CA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted May 16, 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for Chris Utley   Author's Homepage   Email Chris Utley         Edit/Delete Post 
In defense of the new guy, he's definitely talking about the best places to see a blockbuster (although I wouldn't put the Bruin on my personal list).

"the Crest?"

Gorgeous decor...but that's about it.

"the Nuart?"

A great theatre...if you're into the arthouse scene. Not a place for, say, "Superman Returns"

"the Vista?"

Point taken...although I haven't made it out there...yet!

"the Aero?"

See my comments regarding the Nuart

the Silent Movie?

Great...if you're into silent movies.

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Brad Erickson

Posts: 117
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: May 2006

 - posted May 16, 2006 05:11 PM      Profile for Brad Erickson   Email Brad Erickson         Edit/Delete Post 
The CREST is okay, but I find the screen to be too small.

I have not been to the AERO since it re-opened.

The SILENT MOVIE theatre is fine if you want to see a Silent Movie, but other than that I could not place it along with the Arclight or the Village.

The owners have done a nice job in restoring the VISTA; but I'd rather go to Arclight or Village if I am going to spend $$$ to see a film. Usually they will play films day to date.

The NUART has never been anything special too me. I actually worked there in late 1984 - 1985 when they actually played revivals. Now I rarely find reason to go there.

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Dan Roben

Posts: 155
From: Seattle, WA
Registered: May 2003

 - posted May 16, 2006 10:31 PM      Profile for Dan Roben           Edit/Delete Post 
I'm having fun with this one.

With a nod to Evil Sam, I'm using some of his catagories, plus a few of my own:

In Seattle:

Best Multiplex: Lincoln Square 16, elegant and posh

Best Theatre to eat in, smoke in, and eat pizza: Well, first off it's Washington state, so there will be no smoking! And our lovely liquor control board makes it very difficult to serve adult beverages in theatres. But The Central Cinema does offer pizza, and wine and beer among other things. They show an eclectic mix of highbrow and lowbrow fare. And the pizza's pretty darn good!

Best crappy old four plex: We don't have any of those anymore.

Best first run value: The Edmonds Theater. This single screen family owned and operated venue shows the latest from Hollywood at the reasonable price of $7 as compared to upwards of $9.50 for a typical ticket.

Best Multiplex Employees: Lincoln Square 16. The kids who work there actually want to help you! Imagine that!

Best Multiplex Customers: Lincoln Square 16. The almost half mainstream, half independent fare seems to bring out the best in people. That, and the fact that management is quick to toss out any miscreants who disrupt the show for the others.

Best drive in still operating: Puget Park. Soggy Seattle actually has three drive ins still operating in the area, but the Puget Park wins because they only have one screen, the way God had intended drive ins to be. Also, it's the last vestige of the venerable hometown SRO chain.

And a few catagories of my own...

Best Bargain Theater: Seattle only has two, the Crest and the Admiral. Landmark's Crest wins hands-down for its programming of Hollywood films and foreign film move-overs from other Landmark theatres. It's maintained quite nicely, and they have the best popcorn in Seattle. Sadly, the Admiral is falling apart, with many broken seats (at least in the theater I was in not too long ago).

Best Theater with faux Northwest Ski Lodge lobby design with Far-East touches: AMC's Pacific Place 11. This used to be a General Cinema, which would explain the extra expense in using all those exposed wooden beams. AMC would NEVER do this!

Best Theatre for blockbusters: The Cinerama (of course!)

Best stadium retrofit: Aderwood 7. Regal really did a nice job with this one. I hope it can survive the onslaught of AMC/LOEWS Alderwood 16.

Best Theatre to see those films never advertised on TV: Landmark's Harvard Exit. This theatre has personality, non-existent parking and ghosts! What more could you ask for?

That's it for now...

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