Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ArcLight Cinema - Hollywood

The Arclight Hollywood is a 14-screen movie theater on Sunset Blvd.  It prides itself on being a different kind of theater, even having a whole website dedicated to describing the arclight experience.

Each theater has reserved seating. When a customer buys a ticket they select their desired seat. The seats in the ArcLight's theaters are wider than average and feature arm rests that are wide enough to support usage by patrons on both sides of the arm rest simultaneously.

Unlike the majority of contemporary theater chains, there are no ads or movie trivia displayed on screen prior to the feature presentation. The only promotional material shown before showtimes are trailers and a brief ArcLight "feature presentation" logo.
At showtime, immediately before the trailers begin, an employee (called an Usher Greeter) introduces the film to the audience and states the ArcLight's policies regarding quality assurance, i.e. two ushers will remain in the theater until a few minutes after the film has begun, to ensure that the picture and sound quality are acceptable. They also inform the audience to turn their cellphones to the silent function, and to refrain from texting. Five minutes after the scheduled start time of a film has elapsed, further seating is prohibited, reducing interruptions.

The ArcLight Hollywood concessions stands strive to serve high quality items, such as all-beef hot dogs, gourmet chicken sausage on baguettes, premium bottled water, decadent chocolates, fresh popcorn with real butter, and caramel corn made on-site.

ArcLight is almost unique among contemporary theaters, as the large lobby area also holds a gift shop with books, magazine, art, clothing items, music, and other entertainment-oriented items. In addition, there is a full-service café and bar, which serves lunch and dinner, and is available with or without purchasing a movie ticket. A smaller bar is located upstairs, which is mainly open on weekends or during special events, and which has a more limited menu. Both feature indoor and outdoor dining areas.
In addition to special event screenings, the ArcLight regularly holds "21+" screenings in which patrons must be 21 years old or older to be admitted and patrons may consume alcoholic beverages purchased from the theater's bar.

ArcLight Hollywood is known to be a good place for celebrity sightings because of its Hollywood location, quality of picture presentation, and myriad of special screenings and events, which often feature Question and Answer sessions with actors and directors.
We went to the ArcLight Hollywood for a special screening of Red Dawn.  We had to stand in line for over an hour but since the tickets were free it was worth it.  We didn't get to the bar before the movie but the experience of the movie theater was noticeably different.

There are additional ArcLights in Pasadena, El Segundo, and Sherman Oaks.

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