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Author Topic: Name the 10 best multiplexes in the country
Gary Davidson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 101
From: Santa Monica, CA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 02-09-2006 05:12 PM      Profile for Gary Davidson   Email Gary Davidson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What are the 10 best multiplexes in the U.S.?

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 02-09-2006 08:20 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How do you mean?

Highest Grossing?
On Screen presentation?
Snaziest lobby?

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Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

Posts: 944
From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004

 - posted 02-09-2006 09:37 PM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think the ONLY standard by which to judge a theatre is by the ratio of upsold concession combos to total tickets rung up. That there is some magical number, dagnabit. [Razz]

And by that standard, our theatre would probably come in dead last. "Corporate" probably attributes that to what--clearly--must be our horrible and incompetent concession staff and management, missing the point completely that we are in a popular entertainment center, a 30-second walk away from any of fifteen or so restaurants and bars, NOT including the food court.

Oh, no, I'm not bitter. [Roll Eyes]

[ 02-09-2006, 11:53 PM: Message edited by: Brian Michael Weidemann ]

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 02-09-2006 10:55 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HAHA! We were top 10 in combos last month.... And were going to be top 10 again! And just wait until the first numbers for variety hearts start comming in!

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1331
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 02-09-2006 11:26 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unless you are very well traveled and have visited EVERY multiplex in the country, this is an impossible question to answer. Maybe every person could rate the best multiplex they have been to. Then you could take that list and see if anybody has been to a few of the other people's "best" and rate them against each other. Eventually, you may get the top 10.

I'd have a hard time naming 10 multiplexes that I've been to that always show the film with the right lens and framed properly let alone a top 10.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12106
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 02-10-2006 01:22 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've only been to probably about couple dozen or so but I would say my favorite from a "decor" standpoint is the one at Megaplex 17 at Jordon Commons in Sandy, UT. It's got a great atmosphere. My wife and I were there for about 3 hours last year just wandering around and looking and snacking -- never even went to a movie.

As far as seeing an actual film, my favorite is the AMC Pleasure Island 24 at Disney World. We're in Florida once a year and always manage to catch at least one movie there. The coolest thing was seeing "Shrek" there. There were a whole bunch of Disney employees sitting behind us and they were just having hysterics over the slight Disney slams in that movie.

[ 02-10-2006, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Mike Blakesley ]

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1331
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 02-10-2006 10:11 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would have to agree with Mike about AMC Pleasure Island 24 but it does depend a little on which auditoriums. My fiance and I tend to make a special trip down there for the "event" movies but I always find out what showtimes are in auditoriums 1 or 2 (screens about 65 feet wide in scope).

There are 4 screens that sound great which are unadvertised THX (still listed on THX site). They are #17,19,20,24. These were part of the original Pleasure Island 10. Interestingly, it seems that any of the original auditoriums that did not need any renovation with the expansion stayed exactly as they were with sloped floors. There are still 8 or 9 incuding both 2k, 3D, DLP. #19 was renovated to stadium and has the 1.3k DLP still.

For decor, I'd have to say Muvico Palace 20 in Boca Raton, FL. The lobby/hallways are very elegant. It suffers from the same thing as every other Muvico I've been to in that once inside the auditoriums, there's nothing special. Screens not all that big, sound good but not great.

Well, we don't make the 2 hour trip JUST for the theatre. We make a day of it and go to one of the parks for a few hours and then see a late afternoon show (we have annual passes so it doesn't cost extra for a couple hours).

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Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 02-10-2006 10:40 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My vote, Gary, would be for two in your own backyard. The new AMC Century City 15 just down Santa Monica Blvd. is a beautiful place, great design, comfortable theatres, fine projection and sound, and my favorite thing: lots of intellegently placed bathrooms. Beats the crap out of the cramped old 14 that it replaced.

Another contender is the Arclight complex behind the Cinerama Dome down on Sunset. People like to bust on this place because of its plain-Jane, black-box auditorium design, but they've never failed to put on a great show any time I've been there. Full Kinoton set-up, NO commercials, comfy seats, great parking. The best thing about it is the crowd it draws. The Los Angeles Film School is right across the street, and the theatre itself is situated right in an area of studios. You're seeing a movie with a respectful crowd of film people, and you don't have to worry about teens/gang-bangers/cell phone texters, et. al. I would have to say it's easily one of the best multi's I've ever been it. Of course, at $14.25 a ticket, it had better be.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002

 - posted 02-10-2006 11:41 AM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Did Arclight ever fix the really bad echo/reverb problem some of the auditoriums had when the place first opened? I saw "The Rookie" there and sound-wise it was like watching a movie in gymnasium. The acoustic treatments on the walls were very very thin at best.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10539
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 02-10-2006 11:47 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll list the best ones in Oklahoma.

Best in state: Harkins Theatres Bricktown 16, downtown Oklahoma City. The large Cine Capris theater currently has the largest indoor theatrical movie screen in Oklahoma. Very beefy sound system in there. The lobby is pretty cool. A full blown 35mm projection setup over the box office shows trailers on a fairly large movie screen above the concession area.

Best in Tulsa: Cinemark Tulsa. This 20-plex has the only IMAX-3D theater in the state. Its theatrical screens are decent (but not great). At least the auditoriums are larger than its main rival, the AMC Southroads 20.

Likely New State Champ in 2006: Warren Theaters 20, Moore, OK. Warren Theaters is based in Wichita, KS and operates three pretty high end theaters there. The new complex currently under construction in Moore (between OKC and Norman on I-35) is billed as the "world's largest luxury 20-plex." The $30 million project is being built on a 25-acre site. The complex will have 7000 seats (ranging from over 700 seats in the biggest auditorium down to 175 in the smallest rooms). The ground floor will have more than 150,000 square feet. All screens will be THX-certified and feature stadium seating. The largest theaters will have premium balcony seating, and will reportedly have screens 80 feet wide and four stories tall (if that's not a case for 70mm I don't know what is). The balcony areas will reportedly be for adults only and offer wine, beer or mixed drinks for sale. Get drunk, throw yourself off the balcony! The theater will have a decorative art deco appearance, with lots of neon, marble, hand-painted murals and other stuff assholes can deface.

Once that Warren Theaters build is completed, it would stand to have a very strong chance of rating as one of the top 10 multiplex theaters in the nation.

Best theater in my town (and has been for the last 11 years) the Carmike 8.

FWIW, maybe someone should start a best single screen movie theaters list. The Ziegfeld in New York and Uptown in Washington D.C. would be obvious entries.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1293
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004

 - posted 02-10-2006 12:20 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In my opinion based solely on movie going enjoyment...

My top pick would be Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons in Sandy, UT. Hands down. Nothing even comes close.

My second pick would be the 13th St Warren in Wichita, which will probably be eclipsed by the Warren 20 that Bobby noted.

Based on experience with the (original) exhibitor that built it and pictures on cinematour, I'd probably put the Metropolitan 14 in Austin, TX third, but I've never actually been there. It sure looks like it was the most elaborate plex ever designed by Act III Theatres though.

I haven't really been to any others that stand out as significant beyond those.

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Robert Burtcher
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 194
From: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Registered: Jun 2005

 - posted 02-10-2006 02:20 PM      Profile for Robert Burtcher   Email Robert Burtcher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What will be interesting to see about the Warren 20 in Moore is how well they will train their projectionists. I hope for their sake that they won't use manager/operators during the week, or if they do, the managers are WELL trained on the equipment.

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Brian Woods
Film Handler

Posts: 32
From: Memphis, TN
Registered: Dec 2005

 - posted 02-10-2006 02:30 PM      Profile for Brian Woods     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here would be my list for the Top "4".

Regal Hacienda Crossing 20 Plus IMAX-Dublin, CA-Great theater in the Eastbay near Oakland/San Francisco. I have seen a few movies here, and never had a problem. [Smile]
Malco Paradiso-Memphis, TN-New Theater in Memphis, TN that has all the perks, and has the best presentation in town. [beer]
Mann's Chinese Theater-Hollywood, CA-Well, it's Mann's Chinese Theater...Enough Said.... [Big Grin]
Regal Severance Town Center-Cleveland Heights, OH-This booth is operated by Bill Tagert, and I have always had a flawless presentation. Bill works at different film festivals, and always puts on a good show. [Cool]

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 02-10-2006 02:50 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mann's Chinese Theatre blows. Or, at least, it did when I visited in February 2000. I liked the decor and the screen, but the sound was truly terrible in the main house. They are supposedly THX certified, but dialogue intelligibility was very poor.

By contrast, the Cinerama Dome (now part of Arclight) had the best cinema sound system that I have ever heard. I need to go back at some point and see how it sounds post-renovation. I hope that they didn't ruin it.

Ultimately, though, most multiplexes are bland and boring. All my favorite theatres are singles or singles which were converted into multis.

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17590
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 02-10-2006 04:43 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Adam Martin or Scott Neff would probably be the best two guys to answer this question. They have most certainly visited more theaters around the country than anyone else.

From what I've seen, regarding theaters that are still operating, the Warren theaters have everyone else beat hands down.

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