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I agree with you about the charm being gone, RobertAlex, but I’d still take it over any other theater in Orange County. Everything here is stadium-style and completely devoid of personality. No more Cinedome; no more South Coast Plaza III. The Chinese and Cinerama Dome are still the best movie palaces in So CA, but since I rarely make it up to L.A., I’ll take what I can get down here.
I see “Pixels” starts tomorrow in both 2D & 3D, but not on the RPX screen.
“Ant-Man” is not screening in 3D. They’ve actually offered 3D for many years on the big screen: “Tron Legacy” and “Gravity” are a couple I can remember seeing in the format. Usually they rotate 3D in every other screening. I found it odd they didn’t offer it for “Ant-Man.” Maybe they didn’t want to scare off patrons for the RPX launch my adding even more fees.
Caught “Ant-Man” at the RPX theater today. $15.50 for a matinee before noon. Only one entrance to the big screen now, off to the right. The entrance on the left side is now an enclosed little passage, encompassing the women’s restroom and an employee backroom.
Once you enter the theater, you veer to the right and follow a short passageway around to the newly renovated auditorium. Center aisles are indeed gone, rows stretch from wall to wall now. The seats are of course the leather recliners with the sliding tray tables and all the aisles slope down from the top, each with its own step. Very dark inside. The red velvet curtains have been replaced with blue carpet-like walls. Two big RPX logos are visible on either side of the un-curtained screen.
The new screen seems taller but not as wide as the old.
The laser-projected 1.85:1 image looked great on the screen, crystal clear and bursting with color(especially the red Marvel logo at the beginning). I’ll be curious to see how they handle 2.40:1.
Sound was great, Dolby 7.1, no mention of Atmos. They’ve amped up the bass, as my seat rattled throughout the flick.
Overall, a pretty enjoyable experience. I’d definitely return for “The Martian,” “SPECTRE” and “The Force Awakens.” It’s obviously not like it was, and while that is a bit sad, it’s just the way things go these days. At least we have our memories. Keep those old pictures coming, Richie_T.
I added some pictures to the gallery. Keep in mind it was pretty dark in there and I wasn’t using professional equipment. You really have to see it for yourself to appreciate it.
Big screen officially re-opens today as RPX theater. Per layout on Fandango, center aisles appear to be gone. 14 rows now and each stretch from wall to wall. Looks like a little less than 460 seats. More info to come.
I can remember frequenting 1-2-3 as a kid in the ‘70s, but for the life of me I can only recall one title: Cloak and Dagger in 1984.
I remember movies at 4-5-6 more vividly: National Lampoon’s Vacation, The Lost Boys, Robocop and Coming to America to name a few.
I do have a faint recollection of the waterfall path that filmgeek73if speaks of. It was both neat and weird.
There was also a great stand-alone B.Dalton bookstore in the middle of the parking lot. Anybody remember that?
I posted a photo of the ticket for reference.
Thanks, JRS40. Would a ticket, though, for the Torrance two-plex say “Theatre No. 1” on it? I wasn’t sure how the auditoriums were numbered, especially since this theater was called 2 & 3.
I recently ordered a copy of the original souvenir program for “The Empire Strikes Back.” Upon opening it, a ticket stub with the address “1370 Torrance Avenue,
Calumet City, IL” fell out. The ticket says River Oaks Theater 1 on it. But theater 1 was on River Oaks Center Sr, across the street from Torrance Ave, right? Was there a “theater 1” at the two-plex on Torrance Ave?
Looking at the page for the original River Oaks single-screen theater, I’m more apt to believe “Empire” screened there instead of the two-plex. Can someone clear things up?
I see Fandango is listing theaters 2 & 3 as now open (the ones on either side of the big screen).
Looks like they’re trying the Dome “2001” screening again: Sunday, May 10 @ 5PM & 8:45 PM.
Caught “Avengers: Age of Ultron” over the weekend at one of the newly remodeled stadium theaters(Auditorium # 4)and have to say I was very impressed.
Seats are reserved now(either at the box office or online) and your seat number is stamped on the tray tables attached to the new leather recliners. The seats are very comfortable and glide back with considerable ease at the touch of a button. The swivel tray tables are very handy for cell phones and snacks and can be pulled close or pushed off to the side.
Every other row of seats has been removed so one can fully recline in maximum comfort. I sat in the second-to-last row (G)and never felt a kick or anything. A nice change.
The floors are now wood laminate and provide a nice classy touch. Instead of stale popcorn, everything smells of wood and leather. It’s like being inside a Lexus.
The price for a 3D matinee was the same as before the upgrade. We’ll see how long they can maintain that. My guess is since they’ve lost half the seats, prices will have to rise eventually.
Overall a very enjoyable experience, one which gives me considerable hope that the big-screen re-do might be a good thing after all. We shall see in July.
Two pictures added for your reference.
I’d love to see one with “The Empire Strikes Back” on the marquee.
Great shot, Richie_T. Looks like late ‘74 or early '75. Where’d you find it?
Make that theaters 2 and 3 by the end of April.
I actually just spoke with someone at the Newport who said the big screen will be closed until June or July. Apparently theaters 3 and 4 will be done by the end of April. She thought it was strange that they did the stadium theaters first, too. She offered that they probably wanted the smaller theaters done first because they take less time.
Still, how do you not have your biggest theater available for the start of the summer movie season? Especially when you’re removing 50 percent of the seats in the small theaters.
Richie_T: I notice that the three stadiums theaters are now listed as having reclining seats and reserved seating. They were closed when I visited on March 16, the big screen was still open. Were you able to look inside the stadium theaters? I find it odd that they renovated the stadium theaters first and not the big screen. We’re a month away from the start of the summer movie season. Is the big screen really going to be ready for The Avengers May 1?
There are special screenings at the Egyptian, Cinerama Dome and a handful of other classic venues in the area. You’d think someone would make a comment or two, on any page. Instead we get posts on juice bars. I’m envious of you guys who live in L.A. and have the opportunity to catch these classic films at the only movie palaces still standing. If you really love film and the venues that show them, seek out these special screenings and share your experiences.
Thanks for the info on the “1941” screening, Coate. Getting anybody to comment on special screenings these days is like pulling teeth. Spielberg didn’t make a surprise appearance Sunday? I did read your Digital Bits article and enjoyed it. Keep ‘em coming.
So no one was at the “1941” screening this past Sunday?
The Final Cut.
Looks like both Blade Runner and Apocalypse Now will get one-shot screenings at the Dome this month as part of Arclight Presents…Crew Picks: Blade Runner on Wed., 3/18 and Apocalypse on Wed., 3/11. Tickets on sale now. Apocalypse is listed as a digital presentation with Blade Runner screening in 35mm.
Actually caught “Unbroken” on the big screen over the weekend (I figured it was most likely the last time I’d see a film here in its original configuration). Asked about the pending renovation and was told things would get started next month, beginning with the big-screen auditorium and then the smaller theaters after that. Apparently the big screen will become one of Regal’s proprietary RPX theaters, not IMAX. RPX features reclining seats, giant screen, dual digital projection, immersive sound, etc. Basically like IMAX without the licensing fees. The employee I spoke with said the big screen would be closed for 2-4 months during renovation. My guess is they’ll have it ready for “Avengers 2” on May 1.
I drove by this theater last week – it’s still called the Festival Cinemas. No mention of Regal anywhere on the building. There’s definitely an ‘80s vibe to the place.
Actually caught “Gone Girl” here a couple of weeks back, my first visit in over 20 years. Still a very nice theater with plenty of leg room. I visited on a Thursday and the matinee ticket was only $4. The cashier said “it’s a special price today.” Works for me.