Search “movie theater seattle” in Google Maps and you’ll get over twenty results. With Puget Sound’s propensity for near constant rain and aptitude for clinical depression, it’s no wonder that Seattleites love the escapism offered by cinema. Most movie theaters in Seattle are good. Some are bad. A few are great. But which theater offers the best movie-going experience?
4. Clean and Comfy Seats
If you look around the auditorium at Cinerama after a movie finishes, you’ll see nothing but utter devastation. You’ll wonder why on earth people spend money on concessions if they’re just going to wildly swing their food around in an effort to completely cover their surrounding area with popcorn.
Knowing the extent of the carnage, your mind will be blown when you first enter the auditorium. I don’t know how the staff at Cinerama do it. My best guess is that the floor completely flips over like something out of the Jetsons, revealing brand new seats and carpeting that were replaced during the previous movie. That is the only logical explanation because human beings are not capable of cleaning an auditorium this thoroughly.
The comfort that comes from not having to deal with a gross, sticky theater is multiplied once you sit down. Each seat at Cinerama is nice and wide with plenty of legroom and a great reclining action. You won’t be fighting for elbow room either since the armrests are huge and cushioned.
3. Sound and Vision
What good is a movie theater if it looks and sounds like crap? No matter what style of projection, the Cinerama can probably do it. I most recently watched Batman v Superman in 70mm at Cinerama but they also have capabilities for digital projection, 35mm, high framerates and pretty much anything else Hollywood can come up with. If a movie has a unique film experience, *COUGH* Quentin Tarantino *COUGH*, the Cinerama can handle it. Basically it just comes down to this: the screen is huge, bright and looks great.
Sound at Cinerama is also very good. I’ve definitely experienced better sound, but Cinerama is definitely good enough to immerse you. Unless your neighbor is a horse with a bag of carrots, all external noise will be drowned away by the deafening roar of the movie.
2. Chocolate Popcorn
Look at the picture. Do I even need to explain why chocolate popcorn is number two on my list? It’s popcorn that’s coated in chocolate! You can get a bag of straight chocolate popcorn, but I much prefer the mix of chocolate and regular. Cinerama has a bunch of other concessions for sale including alcohol… but who cares when chocolate popcorn is on the menu?
1. Choose Your Seats Online
It’s 2016 people! Any movie theater that doesn’t allow you to pick your seat online should be forced to implement the service or shut down. Instead of camping out for hours in hopes of getting a good seat, Cinerama has recognized that it isn’t 1999. There is such a simple joy to be had by casually buying your seats online, taking a relaxing stroll to the theater, taking your time choosing concessions and eventually finding your center seats waiting for you right before the room goes dark.
I look back and cringe at all the times I used to line up at the theater an hour or more in advance to ensure I’m not stuck in the front right corner of the theater. The stress and anxiety that would pulse through my body has taken years off my life. The violence and aggression I’ve shown to people trying to cut line should have put me behind bars. No more! Thanks to theaters like Cinerama, I can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Are there Negatives?
I gotta pee right now! – Cinerama can seat over 500 people. The men’s room has four urinals and four stalls. The women’s restroom room has maybe eight stalls (never been in there to count). There is a family restroom if you’re with a group of kids, or you’re a selfish human being, or you’re completely desperate. To make matters worse, the restrooms are located at opposite sides of the concessions area. So if you’re sitting in the balcony, you’ve got to make a long trek down to the front lobby and may miss significant movie time. Cinerama is not a great place for the weak-of-bladder.
Location, Location, Location – Since I am a public transit user and often go to movies by myself, traveling downtown Seattle isn’t a big hassle. And frankly, I enjoy having an excuse to visit. But I could imagine a trip to Cinerama with multiple people might be kind of annoying. You’ll have to either have to spend a lot on bus fare, or spend a lot on parking*, or spend a lot on Uber, etc. And if you’re going to a nighttime showing, you will find yourself walking around Belltown late at night. You’ll probably be fine but it’s definitely different than going to a major cinema with free, plentiful parking next to a mall. *It is worth nothing that street parking is free on Sundays and holidays, if you can find a spot.