Sunday, April 8, 2012

Dear Regular Movie Theaters: We're Through!

Ladies and random occasional gentleman readers of this blog, I have a new love. I found it when I went to see The Hunger Games last month. I thought the movie was pretty damn good, but what I really couldn't shut up about was the the theater. People would ask me how I liked the movie and I would spend two minutes ranting about how they messed up Buttercup (seriously, were there NO yellow cats available, casting people???) before launching into my thirty-minute ode to Cinema Suites.

This cat is to The Hunger Games what that black Volvo was to New Moon.

I've always been jealous of the people who live in areas where they have "grown-up" movie theaters with bars and real food and stuff. Frankly, smuggling in my own snacks and a flask is getting a little old. Especially when I forget to take said flask out of my purse and find myself at the office the next day with it. But since the AMC theater near me opened a Cinema Suites recently, I can cross "coveting" off the list of my sins. Well, for that, anyway. And I will never go see a movie in a regular theater ever again if I can help it. I may not have won the lottery last week so the chances of me moving to a mansion with a huge home-theater any time soon are slim, but Cinema Suites is the next best thing.

For starters, you get to select your seat in advance. As someone who is chronically running five minutes late and always ends up getting crappy seats in the theater, reserving a seat from an online chart (like when you buy a plane ticket!) is a god-send. Almost every single seat was sold out for The Hunger Games opening weekend, but I managed to find two seats in the very back row for Mr. Snarky and me. The last aisle in the theater is Row H, which according to my mad math skills means there are only eight rows of seats in the place. Not a bad seat in the house!

The aisles separating each row are ginormous, which is awesome since I hate how in regular theaters everyone has to stand up and get trod upon when the person sitting in the center seat who bought a 164-ounce Uber-Mega-Soda realizes their bladder is about to explode. The aisles at Cinema Suites have to be wide to accommodate the over-sized pleather recliners. Recliners! That go so far out you're almost horizontal! And unless someone seven feet tall comes along, the chances of anyone sitting in front of you blocking your view are almost nil.

They serve alcoholic beverages! And they aren't ridiculously overpriced! Plus the servers will get your sodas (with free refills) candy and popcorn (served in an actual bowl) and it doesn't cost anything extra. In fact, the tickets are only a couple of bucks more than a regular movie ticket, and you aren't required to buy anything once you are there. If they somehow worked some sort of a bedpan into the deal, I might never leave.

 Movie theater, civilized.

The little amenities really did me in, too - there were cloth napkins holding the silverware, they gave us hot towels after our meal, and when we were exiting the theater, instead of passing a surly, scowling teen employee who was waiting to go clean up, we had a cheerful lady proffering a tray of Godiva chocolates. Speaking of surly teenagers, Cinema Suites is 21+ only, so NO KIDS. Wheeee!!! If someone said to me "hey for an extra $2 you don't have to wait in line, you're guaranteed no whippersnappers, and someone will cater to your every need for the next two hours," I'd be a fool to turn them down!

For the sake of full disclosure, the low-light was the food... the chicken tenders I ordered, billed as "beer battered" were more like cafeteria-quality drumstick-shaped McNuggets and may or may not have been cooked in an Easy-Bake oven (perhaps along with the mini-cupcakes I spied on the desert menu but did not try). Next time I'll stick to popcorn. Extra butter-flavored grease on the side, please!

44 comments:

  1. I'm right there with you. The Suites are the best way to go. My hubs & I have been doing the suites for a few years now, when we happened upon them for The Hurt Locker which was only showing at our Downtown Theater. We went & bought the tickets and at the time the suites were like $25.00/per ticket with a $15.00 food voucher (I guess that didn't bode well because as you saw they don't do that anymore) but at that time they were and I was like, "Wait $25.00 for a movie" and the girl was like, "well those are our cinema suites" and I was like, "what is that?" and she explains and my hubs and I were in heaven, and every chance we can go to the suites we do it now. It's our preferred viewing place. Unfortunately, I have to drive about 20 more miles to get to a cinema suites theater so sometimes, the local theater wins out, but honestly not often, because luxury is definitely my thing.

    And for premieres it's the BEST WAY...that's why from New Moon to Breaking Dawn I've rented a Cinema Suites theater & watched the midnight showing with all my fellow h00rs...with drinking & no kids to boot, there is no other way to do the movies, especially our favorite Vampire premieres where only we understand our loud oogling ... hehehehehe.

    Welcome to the Cinema Suite's world .. don't ever look back!!!

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    1. I'm SO down with the idea of watching Breaking Dawn 2 at one of these theaters!

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    2. Shit. No Cinema Suites in San Diego, but there are other amenities to living in SoCal. Here I am (white shirt, short hair) at the NNN Awards (airing tonight on LogoTV) sitting two rows behind Josh Hutcherson so neener-neener (wait... did that sound too bitchy? Sorry :-)
      http://www.okmagazine.com/sites/okmagazine.com/files/photo_gallery_images/new-now-next-awards-april6-2970-rtt.jpg

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    3. Maybe a tiiiiiny bit lol...

      But that's a nice trade-off, I suppose. : )

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    4. I love this blog WAY too much to be too big of a bitch to anyone. I don't want to get run off. You all are way too entertaining (and scary... I'm just lucky I'm at the opposite end of the country from the freezer).

      We were there because the Adam Lambert blog I help run was nominated for one of the nine NNN Awards. I almost peed myself when Noel Fisher (Breaking Dawn 2) was presenting the award. If we won it would've been this huge fandom crossover vortex for me, but alas... the Vampire Diaries blog won. Bummer.

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  2. OMG! I had heard about these a while ago, but didn't think they were a local thing...We have one!! It's really, really far, and they're only showing Titanic 3D but I must go. Now.

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    1. DOOOO IT! So worth the extra effort/cost.

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  3. Yes!! We have the same thing here, called Cinebistro... except that the food is wildly overpriced and not all that fantastic. $12 movie ticket plus $12 drink and $10 appetizer and $20 entree plus tax and tip = almost $70 for one person for dinner and a movie? These are tough times, people! I can't say I'm optimistic for Cinebistro's future, especially since - get THIS - they aren't showing The Hunger Games AT ALL. They lost easily $500 from just my friends alone, since we had to see the movie (and eat and DRINK) elsewhere. Idjits.

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    1. That's definitely pricier than our place - the drinks were $7-$8 bucks and I think the burgers and chicken tenders were somewhere in the $10 range. Compared to the crap they sell at the concession stands, this seems like quite the bargain!

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  4. So jealous! We don't have anything like that around here (as far as I know...I will be Googling as soon as I'm done typing this). I very rarely go see movies at the theater, but a place like that might get me out more often!

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    1. I'm not a huge fan of going to see movies in the theater, either, but this might have me changing my tune there...

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  5. Yes these theaters are HEAVEN!! Why didn't I think of this idea and make millions? We have one across the river from us and for movies that are a few weeks old we even have a theater we can go to at the Brewery right down the street.

    Something is so awesome about no teenagers in a theater and a pitcher of beer.

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    1. I'll admit I've been spoiled when it comes to not seeing movies with lots of kids in the theater (and I flove it).

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  6. Don't think there is one near me. I would love to try it some time though.

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    1. You'll have to come up by us sometime! : )

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  7. Nothing like that here in Ireland. Fuck you all :P

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    Replies
    1. I smell a business opportunity...

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    2. Oooh, never thought of it that way...

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  8. As far as I know, nothing like that here in Albuquerque. But I'm in New Mexico and all the civilized stuff goes to Santa Fe and/or Taos. I'd definitely pay extra for such wonderfulness!! Even if I didn't order anything to eat or drink I'd still pay it. I will keep an eye out for this - hope we get it here in the Armpit of the Known Universe!

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  9. Wait a minute, there's a place where I can see a movie and don't have to smuggle in my own stash of beer? Dude, sign me up for one in my area.

    And also, aww, that black and white kitty looks so much like my cat Mr. Stupid (yes, his name is Mr. Stupid. We originally called him Caesar but he wasn't smart enough to keep the name).

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  10. One more reason why to move to the US. Lucky bastards!

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  11. We have something similar, but not that awesome. Once you find a good adult theater, you never go back to the regular ones. Er, you know what I mean.

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  12. Maine, why do you suck so that you can't get one of these theatres?

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  13. We have Movie Taverns, which aren't quite as nice. No recliners, no reserved seating, although.. that would be an excellent cure to my Sheldon Cooper Syndrome. I'm sure that the reason my friends refuse to meet me for dinner before a midnight movie is that I spend the entire meal checking my watch and saying things like, "the movie starts at midnight and it's already 5 o'clock!!! If we don't get in line now we won't get good seats!!!"

    I digress, I cannot go back to regular theaters, theaters with alcohol tend to attract fewer children therefore, less "why the hell did that woman bring her toddler to Saw II?"

    I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE PISSED ABOUT BUTTERCUP

    WTF, really???? I mean really?!?!?!?

    I understand cutting out parts for the sake of time but why couldn't they find the right color cat?

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    1. IKR?! I was totally ticked, right out of the gate...

      Maybe they will get it right in subsequent movies...

      *crosses fingers*

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  14. Wow, this theater sounds perfect! Seriously, hot towels and godiva chocolates??! If I make my reservation now, can I sit on Rob's lap at the BD2 midnight premiere? I'd fly out to the East Coast for that.

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  15. Oh, come on! I was so freaking excited to read this, and then I check the theater site and there's only SIX freaking locations, and two of them are in NEW JERSERY??? WTF! I mean, come on, this is America, lol (sorry Ireland). And I live in a major metropolitan area, for god's sake! But seriously, do you think that if I add in airfaire to fly to the nearest location, which would be in Kansas, of all places, it'd still be worth it, lol??! I think it might, if only to be able to watch BD2 with no squee-ing teeange fangirls. Yeah, I might just be booking my flight soon...

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    1. I think this is somehow our reward for the fact that In-N-Out Burger has only made it as far as Utah.

      And I would start saving for airfare. You really can't put a price on lack of fan-girl squeees. : )

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    2. The reason we have two of these is because New Jerseyans are, in general, a surly lot who don't like to share space. We're terribly spoiled.

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    3. You are totally welcome to join us here in Kansas, if it's the Kansas City area. I organized the rental of a suites theater for Eclipse & BD1. The price is a little over the expense of just a ticket because when you rent the whole theater there is a rental fee, but we split evenly between everyone, and I have to say, to me it is sooooo worth it. As you said, you are there with no squeeing teenage girls, only drooling fellow h00rs (I mean friends...no I mean h00rs...LOL).

      It does seem weird that KS/MO would actually be ahead fo the times for something so awesome, since we are always the very last to get anything cool, however the AMC Theaters headquarters is here in Kansas City, so I think that is why we got lucky.

      Anyway, if you decide you want to take the trek to KC, let me know, my email is twisherry@gmail.com & I'll put you on the group I already have to send out info when the time gets closer.

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    4. LoL seriously! I live in the fucking Bay Area and we have nothing like that here? Oh yeah, cause we're a bunch of dirty hippies. ...wait... I'm a dirty hippie....but I could be spoiled for a night! I promise!

      I'd love to experience something like that. The hubs and I always go to the movies, and we're always arguing about what time to get there cause I refuse to have a shitty seat! I waited for 8+ hrs for Breaking Dawn to guarantee I didn't get a shitty spot. We would save hours of our lives if we could pick our seats ahead of time and show up, actually, on time.

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  16. And btw, I wonder if I write the site and beg, they'll consider building one down here in S. Florida before November??! Worth a try, lol!

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  17. Snark, I definitely think you're right. I mean, at least in a theater like this, it'd be women squee-ing, lol! And I think you'll agree, it's not the same, right?! And I wouldn't have to listen to them clap every time Edward says a word, or giggling when E&B are sexing it up. Yup, definitely need to book my ticket now. And I agree about In-N-Out, cuz living in Florida, it'll be fifty years before they make it this far east...

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  18. I will say that Movie Tavern allows underage but atleast at the one I go to the underage seem to be reasonably well-behaved. On one hand, their immature squeeing when the Summit logo pops up disguises mine. On the other, I could do without the screams everytime a boy comes onto the screen. I deal with it with a big gulp of my manhattan (which is the only way I can seem to get away with drinking whiskey without wide-eyed spectators) and then I feel a little less perturbed.

    Whiskey cures everything... except this pile of paperwork I'm avoiding.

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    1. You are a girl after my own heart, One Phoenix. Whiskey truly cures everything. :)

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  19. I think we think alike, OnePhoenix! Great idea. Will have to remember that come November. And yes, there are times when the fangirls muffle my my squees, too, lol! I think it would be far less annoying if it wasn't every freaking two seconds, every time Edward (which I can understand) or Jacob (which I can't) comes onscreen. Hell, even at HG, when the BD2 trailer played, they yelled, "Take your shirt off!" Whatever, fangirls. I'll take Edward with no shirt over Jacob anyday!

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  20. Considering that I have been the person who has stood up in a crowded theater and threatened bodily harm to a group of rowdy teenagers, I think these theaters are made for me.

    Plus, I hate when my flask leaks and then everything in my bag smells like whiskey.

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  21. I flove these types of theaters, but the only one in Eugene is a second-run. It's actually pretty awesome, and may even be worth it when it comes to most of the movies out there. I can wait a month or two before seeing a cool movie if it means I can do the following:

    TEXT FOR A DRINK!!
    &
    TEXT FOR SNACKS!!

    It's the fucking best! And you can text an order for real take out from local restaurants, too! They give you a menu with the foods available and which restaurant it's from, so you know you aren't getting E-Z Bake chicken tenders.

    If only there was a place for new movies. *le sigh*

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  22. Well... down here in Australia we have Gold Class Cinemas. Huge, recliner chairs and only about 20 in the theatre. It costs $16 to see a film in a normal movie theatre and $29 for Gold Class. Same, only adults allowed and food and alcohol available. It's a long way from the hessian seats we had in a cinema in a town I grew up in in Queensland, 30 years ago, with huge fans blasting in the summer you had to strain to hear the movie. Plenty of things happened in those seats. Ummm the boys would all come out smelling each others fingers...

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  23. I'm sorry this is a new experience for you! Wow. We've got several variations of this with our cinemas, and my absolute favourite is the recliner version. Love that they're always tiny cinemas and never too much more in cost. We do have alcohol for sale in many of our regular cinemas too - although i have been known to sneak bottles of bubbles in my handbag to midnight showings!

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  24. I nearly cried when I tried to search for the nearest one to me up in New Hampshire, and found the closest one may as well be light years away from me down in New Jersey. :(
    I really really wanna go! It sounds beyond super awesome!

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  25. You think that's awesome? UltraStar Theaters, which has opened several of those adult type theaters, is going to blow that shit out of the water!! They are opening an entertainment complex on the Ak-Chin reservation next to the current Harrahs' Casino- I know, right? It's going to have a state of the art movie theater complex, featuring all digital projection and in-seat food service including alcohol for guests 21+, a restaurant, sports bar, bowling alley-- incluing VIP lanes, laser tag and more!! I'm thinking of moving to Arizona and living in one of the bathrooms there!
    Check it out: http://www.ultrastarmovies.com/ak_chin.asp

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  26. This would be awesome if they had one here. Jersey is to far a drive for a movie and a beer. Although, there is a drive-in and for just ten bucks you can cram your car full of people and watch 2 movies for the night. I guess you can pack your couch on the car and make your own stadium seating in the parking lot and bring your cooler packed with beverages and food. That's the same thing, right?

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