Easy DVD rentals, sophisticated home theater systems, and outrageous ticket prices are threatening to make the local Cineplex go the way of the burlesque hall. In response, some heads-up theater companies are starting to offer patrons a much classier night on the town, with elegant facilities that offer seat reservations, gourmet concessions, more comfortable furnishings, and smaller, exclusive auditoriums.
Gone are lobbies and concession areas with garish neon lighting, gargantuan video displays, and homespun candy counters. In their place are bars and restaurants with high-end finishes, stylish furnishings, and appetizing food and beverage offerings.
The latest example: The Landmark in West Los Angeles (designed by PleskowRael Architecture, Marina del Ray, Calif.), which opened in June with a well-stocked wine and beer bar, a concierge desk in the lobby in lieu of a box office, and separate seating in three “living room” auditoriums that can accommodate up to 50 people. These intimate spaces are furnished with sofas, loveseats, side tables, and ottomans.