Starplex Cinemas mans more than 200 screens from the Midwest to the West Coast. In each theater, digital projectors enthrall audience members seated in comfy stadium-style chairs with vivid images, and surround-sound speakers crisply broadcast every roar of an engine in hot pursuit and every romantic slurp of soda. To make the cinematic experience maximally cushy, guests at many locations also can sink into luxury leather seating and chew thoughtfully on Starplex Cinemas's signature $1 hot dogs.
Once commonplace in American moviegoing, the revival house itself now needs a revival. Enter Rosebud Theatre, whose single screen is solely dedicated to the films of Hollywood?s Golden Age?the theater even draws its name from one such film, Citizen Kane?s famed sled. Built around a new theme each month, the theater?s programming ranges from classic musicals such as Yankee Doodle Dandy to foreign staples such as Jacques Tati?s inventive Mr. Hulot?s Holiday. The intimate 94-seat theater shows every movie digitally, which allows CGI dinosaurs to roam Charlie Chaplin?s movies just as he always intended.
Though now known as Westwood Cinema, the classic marquee that hangs above its front entrance still bears its original name: Pascack. It opened under this name in 1928 as a venue for film and vaudeville performances. The theater would survive the decline of vaudeville and adapt to the audience's interests, upgrading from a single screen to four, and ending the tradition of prefacing every screening by giving away war-era jobs. Now, the cinema fills those four screens with first-run Hollywood hits.
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."
Hawthorne Theater opened in 1928, making it one of the first movie houses established in the area. And though at almost 90 years of age the space is older than most buildings in North America, it's recently undergone major renovations to keep up with modern technology. According to an interview with owner Jack Sayegh at NorthJersey.com, the fully digital five-screen cinema was outfitted with new carpeting and chairs, Real D and 3-D movie equipment, Dolby Surround Sound in all theaters, and human ticket-takers to replace the outdated robot ones. The article also cites that the theater?which has been independently owned since 1980?is maintained by Jack's father, uncle, and cousin, reinforcing its family-friendly nature.
The first event held in Symphony Space was a signal of the venue's ambitions and its creative approach to programming. In 1978, Allan Miller and Selected Shorts public-radio host Isaiah Sheffer reopened the formerly decaying market-turned-skating-rink-turned-theater to the public with 12 straight hours of Bach, including a night's-end chorus of hundreds of amateur and professional voices singing the composer's Mass in B Minor. Today, Symphony Space continues to welcome a diverse community from the neighborhood and beyond for performances from established and emerging artists.