At Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas, patrons get cozy in old-school theater seats as they take in the sights and sounds of a constantly changing lineup of second-run flicks. Located within a quiet strip mall, the well-maintained theater boasts a full concession stand that opens for matinee and evening features, as well as a make-your-own soda machine. Moviegoers can also stop in for the theater’s Red Carpet Classic series, which features such flashback films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and The Shining.
Xtreme XD purports that its digital-theater ride operates in six dimensions. Three of these belong to the visuals, which spring out at viewers through depth-creating glasses. The rest belong to the suite of effects that jostle and excite the riders, ranging from seats that can jolt with up to 3 g's of force to systems that create the illusion of wind and light. Riders take their pick of a number of featured rides, which can include a roller coaster that speeds through haunted mines, safaris beset by stampeding elephants, and recreations of the nearly yearlong trip to Mars in real time.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.
At Starlight Cinemas, cinephiles can get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities without worrying about security guards or the electric force field that keeps Ralph Macchio from aging. Two movie tickets grant you and a companion access to any 2-D or 3-D movie (subject to availability), projected in pristine HD digital in every auditorium. A large tub of popcorn fuels buttery snacking during trailers, and a free refill ensures patrons have snacks to eat during the feature or to toss over their shoulder during startling horror scenes. Though not valid with this Groupon, each theater is equipped with full concessions should you feel the urge for sodas, candy, or other popular cine-fare. Check Starlight Cinemas’ individual websites for current listings and showtimes.
Amid the bustle of Hollywood Boulevard stand two monuments to the silver screen. One, the TCL Chinese Theatre, oozes with history— imported Chinese stone lions, a 90-foot-tall copper roof, and concrete blocks that bear the handprints of Hollywood luminaries from years gone by each memorialize the celebrated role the building has played in Hollywood for more than eight decades.
Next door, Chinese 6 Theatres is a tribute to the cutting-edge. Six theaters, some with 3D capability, immerse viewers in ultra-realistic picture and sound better than sitting inside Steven Spielberg's android brain. Beyond the plush theater seating, a bar slings cocktails for in-movie sipping and a restaurant serves a full menu for cravings after the show. The service schedule varies for the bar and the restaurant but both will be open during Summer 2013. Whether they opt for the historic cinema or the ultramodern theater, visitors can catch a full slate of acclaimed new releases on their chosen big screen.
The storied history of TCL Chinese Theatre rivals those of the more than 200 celebrities whose handprints, footprints, and autographs are cemented into the theater's forecourt. Erected in 1927 and declared a historical and cultural landmark in 1968, the iconic theater stages movie screenings, premieres, events, and red-carpet ceremonies. Today, moviegoers walking through the theater's main courtyard can revel in the same opulence of those 1920s screen idols, craning their necks upward to take in the looming pagoda that frames the entrance. Inside, the theater's original 1927 screen towers high above the plush red-velvet seats, surrounded by wooden panels that rise to a ceiling with flowing Chinese-style drawings. This classic Hollywood setting is one of the reasons why the theater, in an echo of its origins, hosts celebrity-studded premieres, such as the 2012 opening for Life of Pi and the 2013 opening for Beautiful Creatures.