It’s no surprise that people prefer watching films in the comfort of their own homes.
The convenience that comes with watching a film at home on high-definition screens, along with the staggering prices of theater tickets, means that, for many viewers, a night in is better than going to a movie theater.
The theater experience, however, will always be unparalleled. There’s simply nothing like seeing one of Hollywood’s great films on the big screen accompanied by strangers in the dark. A number of theaters around Los Angeles that strive to offer the best for its viewers, and some of these venues might even have you wanting to go out this weekend.
University Village’s Flagship Theatres welcomes students from the USC neighborhood, particularly because of its low prices. The theater doesn’t promise a unique experience, but it’s a perfect venue for a quick viewing of popular films.
ArcLight Cinemas, on the other hand, has become a popular choice for filmgoers who want quality, and the Hollywood location’s Cinerama Dome has become an icon of the city — fitting, considering ArcLight’s tagline is “Where movie lovers belong.”
The theater is geared toward passionate filmgoers; even its showtimes are presented on a departure board similar to that of an airport, as if to suggest that watching a film there will transport viewers into another world. ArcLight’s cafe offers great food and drinks, and for certain films, alcoholic beverages are welcome inside.
ArcLight’s general admission tickets run $13.75 and also include reserved seating, but audiences can save an additional dollar with free membership. Their membership program is one of the best in town; points are accumulated with each purchase and can be redeemed for free tickets and snacks. ArcLight screens mainstream films, independent and foreign films and often classics as well.
The Landmark, located between West Hollywood and Santa Monica, is another great stop, offering a wide selection of films in a great part of town. Like ArcLight Cinemas, the theater offers reserved seating, and prices are also very reasonable: Tickets are $12.50 during peak hours and $9.50 during non-peak hours.
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is one of Hollywood’s most famous theaters. The theater is located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can see the stars of famous actors as well as their handprints and footprints. The location lends itself to a great experience, especially because of its proximity to the Hollywood and Highland Center.
This experience, however, comes with a price tag. The Chinese Theatre’s tickets are as high as $19, but considering its prime location in an iconic part of Hollywood, it’s worth the splurge.
In front of the Chinese Theatre sits the El Capitan Theatre, a beautiful movie palace that specializes in Disney films. The theater screens new film releases but also shows memorable classics. Several perks are also offered, such as VIP admission, which includes reserved seats, popcorn and a drink, and from time to time, the El Capitan hosts special events in which audiences can have breakfast with a Disney character.
The Vista Theatre is one of Hollywood’s hidden treasures, and many people might be unaware of its relationship to cinema history. The theater stands on the former site of the Babylon set that was prominently featured in Intolerance, one of cinema’s greatest silent films and one whose architecture later inspired the Hollywood and Highland Center’s design.
The Vista is a single-screen theater located on Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, and is currently screening the box office hit The Hunger Games.
There are several art-house theaters in the area as well, for those interested in touching up on cinema of the past. The Egyptian Theatre often hosts particularly well-known and respected films, such as Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia and 2001: A Space Odyssey, while New Beverly Cinema often focuses on foreign films and cult favorites. New Beverly Cinema, which only accepts cash, charges $8. This fee gets you in for two films on its double bill feature.
Even with all these options, if location means a great deal in terms of how you enjoy films, the best out of the bunch is arguably ArcLight Cinemas. Hollywood attracts many on its glamour alone, and the theater’s reserved seating, famed caramel popcorn and wide selection of films — both independent and mainstream — leave audiences with little desire to go anywhere else.
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