Fun locations to indulge a film craving

by John Anderson

For those who are tired of conventional cinematic venues, there are many alternative choices now available, with more to come in the not-too-distant future. Usually these theaters are a bit on the pricey side, but they are a perfect way to celebrate a special occasion.

Cinépolis
This luxury movie theater chain, based out of Mexico, has a branch in Del Mar. The lobby appears to be a cool, upscale restaurant, with several big-screen televisions and a full-service bar.

The seating within the auditoriums is very relaxing. Each patron has their own oversized reclining leather chair with a small table for food.

The food and beverages are delicious. There are classical options such as popcorn and candy, as well as sushi, paninis and pastries for dessert. Those 21 and older can order alcoholic drinks to be delivered directly to them in the theater.

With all of these positive qualities, Cinépolis seems like a foodie’s paradise. The only problem are the attendants. Every seat has a button that can be pushed to request a server. Unfortunately, their service does not equate with the quality of the seating, the sound system, the projection system or the food.

Employees have been known to forget entire meals for a party of six, blame it on the kitchen, and then be rude when asked for the additional missing sweet potato fries and forks. Even with this fault, Cinépolis is a unique and fun place to catch a flick. More information can be found at cinepolisusa.com

ArcLight Cinemas
The distinctive chain will open a new location in San Diego at the Westfield UTC mall next year. Unlike other theaters, there will be all-reserved, luxury seating. This is good news for individuals who usually run late to screenings and want to be assured there will be room for them.

The food includes fresh caramel corn and popcorn made with real butter. Does this mean Landmark Theatres will have some real competition for the best-tasting popcorn in San Diego? Only time will tell.
Though ArcLight is not coming to town for a few more months, the original theater is currently open in Hollywood, providing an amazing and tasty cinematic experience.

Information about ArcLight  can be found at arclightcinemas.com

Alchemy
For those interested in watching classic silent films while sipping a “prohibition-style” drink, South Park’s Alchemy can provide. Moviegoers can enjoy multicultural cuisine and stiff drinks styled after the silent film era. Alchemy normally hosts the event on the first Sunday of every month but has suspended the event until January; it is well worth the wait.

Splash Wine Lounge & Bistro
This North Park bar hosts a “Sunday Fun-Day” event every Sunday. The self-service wine bar puts on games, plays music and most importantly projects classic movies on its big screen. The movies are played with muted sound in the main bar, but if you book a private party, they will play the movies as you’d like and take requests. Be sure to show up during happy hour from 4-6 p.m. for $3 wine and $5 select appetizers.

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