Showing 26 - 45 of 45 comments
In Connecticut the main chain is Showcase Cinemas a.k.a. National Amusements. I used to wish for more choices and competition and hoped for Regal or Cinemark to enter the market. After seeing movies at the Waterbury Regal, the Plainville AMC, and the Local bowtie cinema, all I can say about Showcase, be careful what you wish for, like James Bond, no one does it better. Lets hope redstone figures a way out to keep the New England, New York and New Jersey theaters.
I agree with the comments longislandmovies and John J. Fink, They are by far the best run theater chain in the Connecticut area. I would guess that the “Bridge” in California will be the first to be sold, since it is their only one out west.
longislandmovies – recently I saw the “the Bucket list” in a theater with stadium seating. The crowd was mostly older with many seniors; NOBODY was sitting in the seats without stadium. Maybe they didn’t want to sit close to the screen, but are many theatres in the area without stadium seating, they choose to go to a theater with stadium seating.
I don’t think you give seniors enough credit. My mother-in-law, recently purchased airline tickets on line and last year got herself a cell phone. I don’t think seniors in there 60s or 70s care if a theater is stadium or not.
The point was nobody builds a theater without stadium seating except this little cinema in West Hartford Ct. If you were building a theater from the ground up in 2008, would you have stadium seating?
I am still curious, so could you or anyone just answer the questions?
What is the most expensive theater in Hartford County? To be fair letâ€™s leave out 3-d movies and the directorâ€™s cinemas at Buckland.
What makes the custom seats at the criterion better than those at the Buckland hills theater?
What discounts does the criterion offer to its Patrons? I mean like a Super Tuesday or parking validation.
For about the same money (plus parking) what are the reasons to choose the criterion over Buckland Hills?
I ask the above questions sincerely, because I would rather not travel to Manchester. I think the Criterion is a very nice theater, if this was 1998, it would be the state of the art cinema we were promised.
a little story.
Once upon a time, there was a theater in East Hartford; it was a very busy theater always selling out. Then one day a cinema st Buckland Hills opened, only 10 miles away the main difference being at the time, was it had stadium seating. They showed the same movies for about the same price. All of the sudden, East Hartford was a ghost town; people just stopped going there. After sitting in a sold out show in Manchester, we would drive past East Hartford and wonder, if it was still open. And finally it did clos because people like me, drove across the river past East Hartford to go to Manchester, a lot of people did. If enough people really liked the seating on the floor, the East Hartford Theater would still be open today and doing good business, because when the Palace and the Loews in Plainville opened with stadium seating, it put the final nails in East Hartfordâ€™s coffin. If this doesnâ€™t prove the average Joe who goes to the movies prefers stadium seating I donâ€™t know what would. The End!
A very nice showcase cinema. This theater is always friendly and clean. They have beautiful neon wall art. The only negatives are some chatty teenagers on the weekends and too many steps to get in, like climbing a mountain sometimes, but in general a overall good movie going experience every time. Too bad the word is that this theater may shutdown like the theater in East Hartford, it is just too close to their theater in Enfield, which now has a digital projector and may expand to 14. Maybe even become a Showcase deluxe. East Windsor is just too small to support this theater.– tom
Mr. Masher, your invitation sounds more like a threat that a tour, so I’ll pass for the time being. There is nothing really wrong with the theater, we’ve accepted it, it’s just not as nice as we expected. Believe me when I say I am not the only one disappointed in this theater. We thought we were getting a state of the art, “ART Cinema. We thought we would never have to go to cinema city again.
Please remember, I only asked if any improvements were made at cinema city. Many people including you noted that the seats are terrible and itâ€™s been a while, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume, that the seats were replaced with the special custom seats, you are so proud of. .
Mr. Fink called the Palace a “ghetto theater” not me. I did not raise the price of a late matinee show from $4.00 to $10.00 or $11.00 in the theater with the big screen to get rid of the bad element, and the good element for that matter, you did. Can anyone remember another theater going up 250% in price in just over a year?
Mr. Katz said your theater had a terrible bleed though problem, I didn’t notice. Mr. Katz also made note of light bubs being out, I didnâ€™t notice until he said something.
I think if you ask 100 of your customers, over 90% would prefer stadium seating. No one is going to mistake this theater for a performance theater, like the Bushnell Theater for Performing Arts. (They have free parking!) And we didn’t ask for a “performance space”. We wanted a movie theater. Up until I go married, I didn’t care about stadium seating either, now I do. Sine this is half an art cinema, why not half stadium seating.
The only theater in the area that has matinee pricing only until 2pm is yours, at least on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I cannot find a theater that is more expense in the area. What theater(s) are you talking about? Of course even if this theater is not the most expensive, it is still overpriced for what it offers compared to the deluxe theater in Manchester for the same price.
If I lived half way between theaters, what reasons would you give to me, to choose downtown West Hartford over the big theater in Manchester for about the same price?
The Loews theater in Plainville has an early morning special and there is a showcase cinema that offers a $5.00 day and for seniors a $3.50 day. Wow! What kind of discounts does your theater offer? I mean besides a club card that makes me spend as much as $157.50 before I get a free ticket. If fact your club is a copy of the one at AMC/Loews.
Also what kind of parking validation does you theater offer? I am embarrassed to say, that I forgot to ask.
Is it good theater business sense to toss your movie projectors after only a year for digital projectors, if you knew the digital revolution was coming? By the way there is an excellent article on digital theaters on this very site, I hope you took the time to read.
In the end I go to the theaters in West Hartford because they are close to me. But remember I am a paying customer and someone who voted â€˜yesâ€ for the project that put a movie theater here in the first place, YOUR WELCOME!
Roger – Please! Read any paper about movie theaters, visit any movie website and you’ll see the future of movie theaters is DIGITAL. There’s a topic on a website called film tech titled “are we the last of a dying breed?” It’s just a matter of time, exactly how much time is questioned, but it is going to happen. Many theaters and even some chains have now all digital projection in every auditorium, so the point I make is who builds a cinema in this day and age without any digital? By the way I saw “No Country for Old Men” there too. I also saw two black lines going down the middle of the screen for most of the movie! It was really annoying.
I too have no real complaints with sloped seating, but it possible that some people less than 5'5", like my wife really who appreciates stadium seating in a way I never could. She told me she used to dread going to movies, as it would be her luck to sit behind a tall person. Now she like going to the movies, and isnâ€™t that what movie theaters want? In this day and age the average moviegoer expect stadium seating for the top dollar we pay.
The seats are ok for comfort, not great by any means. Once you get used to rocking chairs, it is hard to go back. Even the ones at Cinema city rock, although they are disgusting and many of them squeak. I did not hear any bleed through the night I was there.
It is obvious that they did not ask the West Hartford moviegoer what we wanted in a cinema and built it cheaply. That fact that light bulbs are out shows you that they can’t keep up with repairs. That is a bad sign for any business.
Roger – where did you park? The rate at the garage is $1.50 for the first hour and .75 a half hour after that. So you can add about $3.75 to the cost of a 10.50 evening ticket, making the cost of movie without their overpriced snack stand a whopping $14.25. Now get a piece of paper and compare what you get for a $10.50 ticket at the Blue Back cinema vs. what you get for the same price (with free parking) at the deluxe cinema in Manchester. Do the math. We live in West Hartford and we are very disappointed in this cinema. We expected a â€œstate of the artâ€ and we didnâ€™t expect to be priced gouged because we live here, so when we can get out, we usually drive to Manchester, but I really wish we could enjoy movies right here in West Hartford. -tom
This cinema, which opened in the fall of 2007, features ALL sloped seating, you wonâ€™t find stadium seating here. They have absolutely NO digital projection. Walk in youâ€™ll see a miniscule non-descript lobby in a cinema that has a weird mix of mainstream and art fare, with the usual boring concession stand. Their custom designed seats were custom designed without much padding, and without moveable armrests, and without high backs and most importantly WITHOUT with the ability to rock back and forth. This theatre also decided to go with out wall-to-wall screens. They do have the highest admission prices in the state and even higher when you add in the high cost of parking. But itâ€™s not all negative, because they do have very nice cup holders. – Also across the street is a Cheesecake Factory. – tom
I beleive that this is the only all digital theater in Connecticut
This (along with Real Art Ways) is one of best theaters in the Hartford Area. A great big red curtain, a balcony, and the best films – The new schedule includes Mary Poppins, Naken Boys singing, Ereaserhead, Casablanca, Bladerunner, into the wild, Margot at the wedding, before the devil knows your dead, etc etc. Now this is an art cinema Hartford can love.
Does anyone know who owns/manages this theater? It is not listed on the entertainment cinemas or BCG websites, and I doubt Hoyt’s runs just one theatre in North America.
Any truth to the rumor that this cinema will reopen soon? I also think a cinema cafe would be an advantage if it does re-open
Cinema City also opened in 1973, I am not sure which opened first, but if I had to bet which one would close first, I would have lost. There was a time when this was the only place to see movies, because it really was the only place, now there is such a glut of screens. If showcase had renovated the theater before buckland hills opened, with stadium seating etc, I think business would have been split and this theater would still be open today. -tom
Bow tie has owned this theater for more than a year now. What improvements have they done so far? Have the put in new seatss?
shoestring 14 – It was stated above by an employee of this company, “99% of the problems stemmed from the bargain pricing that the former operator put in place.” I don’t agree. He also stated that the “pricing structure has had a positive effect on the removing the ill-behaved guests that used to frequent the theater.” I also don’t agree with that. The theater is in a tough neighborhood and it is what it is. More than doubling the week day price of a movie and eliminating discounts has not has any effect on reducing problems, it’s just tougher for the average joe to see a movie.
Got a nice surprise, when I found out matinee now pricing ends at 4pm, used to be 6pm. Not a big deal, just had to bypass the snack counter, not like there’s any profit in popcorn! This theater used to have “twilight prices”. That was a good deal. These kinds of prices are meant to keep the bad element away, meaning anyone on a budget.
What a fantastic art cinema this is!. Not only do they play great films, but they have a very cool art gallery as well. Every third Thursday there is a “Creative Cocktail Party” with a DJ. This is the most eclectic and fun theater in the Hartford area. If you like Art films and live within driving distance, this is the one of two great theaters. Cine studio and Real Art Ways pack a one-two punch for the best art cinemas in the Hartford Area.
First lets get some facts straight. According to THX.com, The only THX screen close to hartford is the Destinta theater in Middletown: screen 1. I’ll have to go with THX.com on this one. If the Bowtie Corporation thought THX was important, they would have made the new theater in West Hartford THX. It’s not.
It is true this Bowtie theater is lower priced than it’s most direct competitor, which is the Bowtie Criterion, also in West Hartford. The Criterion is the most expensive movie theater in Connecticut, when you add in the cost of parking. The Showcase in berlin and the Hoyt’s in Simsbury are both nice theaters, they are a little cheaper. The nearby Loews is the same price. The Showcase deluxe is .25 to .50 more for most movies, but usually worth it. So this theater is NOT lower priced than it’s competitors, really it’s same price give or take .25, I’ll have to go with movietickets.com and Fandango on this one.
If more than doubling the price of a midweek movie has helped with “ill behaved guests” , maybe the price should be doubled again, cause the thugs are still there. They’re just mad they have to pay more. While I try to avoid this theater, I do have tickets to a advance show of “Juno” which prompted me write this rant. I am not sure if I should even go? or just wait for the DVD. If I do go, how many hartford Policemen do you think I will see? one? two? more? I am betting on none.
back to the Odyssey theater. Maybe it has a great sound system, maybe not, most movies are too loud anyways. but 35mm film was never meant to be shown on a screen that size. The screen image is acceptable to poor. The Imax at the showcase deluxe is small, but it IS an Imax. And the image IS great. Why not put an Imax in the Odyssey theater?. wouldn’t that make sense? Why have an Imax size screen, but not an Imax? Did you know AMC/loews is adding 100 Imax projectors. It would not bother me to pay more for a superior image I don’t like to pay more for an inferior picture on the screen.
Since the bowtie people took over this theater, they raised the price of films in their theater with the giant screen. It is NOT an Imax. It is NOT even a digital cinema. Film in the theater looks like a Roy Lichtenstein painting. The image grain is huge! At the Palace 17, poor presentation does mean higher prices.
This is the most dangerous place to see a movie in Hartford. I feel much safer at Real Art Ways. I at least used to see security and police, now it’s each man for themselves. Someone in the box office said that they have found guns left in the theater more than once. This cashier seemed to be proud of this fact.
The best thing I can say about this theater is that the cell phone reception must be fantastic. I think people come here just to use their cell phones.
Do yourself a favor and go to the loews in Plainville or to the Showcase Deluxe in Manchester, there you have a sporting chance to find your car still there in one piece after the show.
When the pedestrian mall at Blue Back square was proposed, we in West Hartford were not pleased. Then we found out ant “Art Cinema” was going to be a tenet and that helped sway my vote for the project. The project even with it’s flaws turned out pretty good, but we are very disapointed in this theater. More on that later, but here is what is being said in West Hartford, Connecticut
from the talk of Wast Hartford Blog
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
$10.50 For A Movie ? !
The new movie theater at Blue Back Square has the following admission prices:
Bargain Matinees â€" All shows before 6PM Monday-Friday,and before 2PM Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays
General Admission – $7.50
Child (11 & under) – $7.00
Senior (62 & over, with valid ID) – $7.00
All Other Performances
General Admission – $10.50
Child (11 & under) – $7.50
Senior (62 & over, with valid ID) – $7.50
College Student (with valid ID) – $8.00 (Monday-Thursday only, excluding Holidays)
$7.50 for kids and $10.50 for adults? That’s just crazy!
2 kids with Mom and Dad would cost $36.00 just for admission! Then there are parking fees to tack on and of course popcorn and drinks. But, I am sure people will pay it.
Like we say here at Talk of West Hartford, “Talk is cheap, West Hartford is not”.
Tickets at Hoyt’s in Simsbury are $6.00 for matinees and $9.00 general admission with kids and seniors prices at $6.00. Berlin Showcase cinemas cost $7.00 for matinees ($5.00 for all showings on Tuesdays). General admission is $9.75, and children and seniors are $7.00. Parking is free in both of those locations.
By the way, whatever happened to the Arts films? Even Tom Condon mentioned this in his article about Blue Back Square, this past weekend.
A last note about the movie theater, because it’s important. In 2004, the developers said the movie theater would feature art, foreign and independent films. The theater opened with “American Gangster,” “Bee Movie” and “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”
One out of three isn’t good enough (OK, “Bee” is technically an indie but not what I was expecting). I’m not saying every film has to be “Last Year At Marienbad” or that the theater should compete with Real Art Ways. But this Bow Tie theater should complement Bow Tie Cinema City, not Bow Tie Palace 17 & Odyssey. Somebody’s going to think monopolies aren’t a good thing.
Posted by West Hartford Talk at 8:00 AM
5 WH Responses:
The Cohen Bros. “No Country for Old Men” opens there this week. That movie has been getting tons of critical buzz, and is certainly an “artsy” upgrade.
The Bow-Tie website mentions “Movies & Memosas” and “Insomnia Theater”, both of which sound fun and have a good schedule of films (playing now in the New Haven theater, but it says they’ll be bringing this to Blue-Back at some point). I went to the theater to ask about this, and they didn’t know what the heck I was taliking about. They must not read their own website???
I agree, the ticket prices are WAY too high, especially for the matinee showings, and seriouslly wonder how long they’ll stay in business charging those prices. Even a dollar or two less would make a big difference.
I’m enjoying reading the Blog, keep up the good work!
November 14, 2007 9:25 AM
Don’t forget about paying for parking .
November 14, 2007 5:59 PM
Hey, do the folks who read this blog ever think about parking the Suburban at home and either walking, riding a bike, or taking a bus to BBS?
The best way to avoid parking fees at BBS is let our Avon and Simsbury visitors pay them.
November 18, 2007 7:06 AM
it doesn’t matter how much ticket prices are, all of that goes to the film producers. Theatres make all their profits from the snack bar. that is why a small soda is 3.75!
November 18, 2007 8:33 AM
The King said…
Those of us with children will have to drive.
And who want’s to ride a bike in the winter? With ice and sand on the roads, that makes for a dangerous situation, particularly for folks who aren’t accustomed to riding bikes on city streets.
November 19, 2007 9:16 AM