Like a rift in the space-time continuum, the brand-new Venetian Cinemas transports its clientele simultaneously to the past and the future. With architecture that pays homage to the ancient Venetians and Romans, the façade beckons passersby with towering cast-stone columns, enticing them through the doors and into the lobby, where vaulted hallways and more columns with Corinthian capitals sweep them along to the auditoriums. Four screens engross the eyes and ears while more than 800 stuffed leather seats cradle the body, and cuisine from the cinemas' restaurant delights the remaining senses for a complete entertainment experience akin to the famous Roman-gladiator chili cook-offs.
In front of the viewers, granite countertops hold a service button that, when pressed, beckons servers to take orders from the menu. Substantial gourmet offerings such as pizza topped with fresh mozzarella or tacos dressed with green-chili-roasted pork top plates and ready stomachs for belly laughs. While still in their seats, their eyes drawn to the on-screen drama on the wall-to-wall curved screens and their ears bathed in the waves of a 40,000-watt sound system, viewers can order cocktails, microbrews, or margaritas from a fully stocked bar. After the movie, staff members clean up, letting patrons leave their glasses, plates, and ketchup-scrawled plot summaries behind.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
Since its origins as a converted parking garage, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its auditoriums, even gaining a following among Hollywood legends; Quentin Tarantino has been known to host five-day movie marathons at Alamo. The theater has earned that reputation by making moviegoing a personal experience, from the menu of handcrafted snacks and locally brewed beer to the completely ad-free presentations before shows. Alamo?s ninja servers pick up written food and drink orders throughout the movie and serve moviegoers directly at their seat. The staff enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy by kicking out any offenders, falling just short of yanking them from their seats with a giant's shepherd's crook.
Both first-run blockbusters and classics are projected onto Alamo's silver screens in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Meanwhile, surround speakers immerse audiences in the cinematic soundscape, whether they're seated in one of the expansive theaters afforded to blockbuster reels or the more intimate spaces reserved for indie films wound around tiny bobbins. Despite Alamo's vow of silence, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and actors, directors, and other celebrities often attend special screenings to lead in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have led to acclaim for Alamo from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, which called it ?one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,? and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."
Within Studio Movie Grill's expansive auditoriums, towering screens enrapture audiences seated in plush leather recliners and at dining tables. As the familiar celebrity faces in blockbuster and cult-classic features deliver Oscar-worthy lines, sneakily quiet waiters deliver meals from a full menu decorated with more than 100 items, including gourmet pizzas, smoked ribs, and cocktails infused with the spirit of Daniel Day-Lewis. Bartenders at the lobby bar dole out glasses of premium liquors, wines, and draft beer before and after shows.
Since 1986 VideoFest has specialized in fiercely independent, imaginative, unusual, provocative and sometimes description-defying electronic media. VideoFest is a bastion of true independent media, offering viewpoints and voices and visual styles that don't always have expression in more mainstream festivals.
With an ambitious repertoire that mixes ancient classics with groundbreaking new plays, Broken Gears Project Theatre puts on socially conscious spectacles aimed at challenging both spectator and performer. Creditors, on view through March 3, is a darkly comic tale of how old debts can reopen old wounds. Running March 17–26, The Magadalen Whitewash explores a dark chapter in Irish history when women were forced into abusive convents for becoming pregnant outside of marriage. Between April 21 and May 8, players don masks for a take on Sophocles' ancient Greek melodrama Oedipus The King, but utilize multimedia techniques to give it a decidedly modern feel. Finally, La Mano (The Hand) presents a magical realist fable about a rich man that buys a hand on the black market, and the original owner who wants it back, from June 6–26.