AMC Essex Green

495 Prospect Avenue,
West Orange, NJ 07052

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AMC Essex Green

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1997 this theatre contained nine new stadium seating auditoriums with digital sound and all the bells and whistles. The lobby area contained a 50-foot snack bar and a mini-cafe featuring Starbucks coffees and assorted pastries, The Soundstage Cafe.

When AMC acquired GC in 2001 the chain closed the Soundstage Cafe operation.

Theatre 1 is the largest, and is THX certified.

Contributed by John Fink

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

poland626
poland626 on November 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm

You now have to be 18 to even enter apparently because of the bar unless you have someone 21 or older with you. Free movies all opening weekend, go to gofobo.com, register, and type 07078 in the zip code and you can see all the free movies and times they are doing. 2 passes per person tho.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

This article has information about the theater’s reopening as a Fork & Screen operation as of November 17, 2010: View link

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on November 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Theater now open as a fork and screen. Status should be changed on the theater summary. Is theater 1 still THX certified?

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm

The Essex Green us not listed on the THX website.

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on November 24, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I don’t know and truthfully don’t care about THX certification which is a scam by which most, if not all modern multiplex screens would qualify for certification if they’re willing to pay George Lucas for the rights to the brand. But I did see a movie a smaller Cinema Suites auditorium and have a few notes: the Fork & Screen/Cinema Suites experience was very comfortable but ultimately a bit distracting.

The main entrance was re-done and the box office removed with an automated box office only (I suppose if your paying cash you can at Guest Services, inside, they re-did, adding a wall to the area that used to be the long closed/removed Sound Stage Cafe. The snack bar is now a real bar, and there’s a bit of seating around the lobby.

They retiled the bathrooms, and repainted some walls. The seating was modified and is about, if not less than what the theaters had (Cinema Suites, the complex’s four smallest sat about 50-60). As for value: the food was a slight upgrade from the chicken fingers and fries at other AMC’s (in fact that’s what we had). It was okay but the prices are movie theatre prices, so your getting mediocre Applebee’s kind of food at movie theatre prices.

Service was a tad slow, including a wait from start to finish for an hour for popcorn (by time I pushed the seat-side button, the server came, then they told us they were popping more, and ultimately it came out an hour from when I first pushed the button). We arrived about 25 minutes before the show and had our drinks (strangely the wine was the only thing similarly priced in value to a restaurant) and appetizers with the previews. Our meal came out about 15-20 minutes into the feature, and from there plates sat, which is a little annoying. The service was friendly, if not slightly distracting, when the bill comes around it’s towards the end of the feature – imagine what revelations you might miss in the distraction.

The seats themselves were plus recliners that reclined at the push of a button as well. The idea of eating a whole meal with the swivel table is a little distracting from the movie, as your trying not get any food on you. The theater itself is an okay experience, the food is pretty boring for the most part especially since they advertise “Cinema Suites” as an upscale evening out, Gold Class looks more interesting on the cuisine front.

Did I dislike the concept? No, but I there are some kinks AMC needs to work on before this can go prime time (I don’t think it ever really can). While I like having food options in the theatre, I did have to say the idea of eating a meal is distracting, perhaps next time I’ll go for finger food, the idea of cutting and worrying about not dropping food on you is enough to take you out of the picture.

KennyT
KennyT on November 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I visited AMC’s Bridgewater Commons Fork & Screen location. Just took a walk around the place and went into 2 of the auditoriums. It certainly seems like a nice place to seee a film. The cost of a ticket is $20, with $10 applied to your food bill. If you don’t order any food and just want to enjoy the comfy chairs and the extra big screen, it will cost you $20 for the movie.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I just ran a check on the THX website to see if the THX screen at AMC’s Bridgewater Commons remains certified, and oddly, it now shows that not only that it is, but also that the THX screen at the Essex Green also remains certified; when I ran the check the other day using the zipcode above, the Essex Green did not show up (and still does not). Go figure. I am beginning to wonder how often that THX search page is updated and how reliable it is.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on December 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Here is a commentary on the Fork & Screen experience at this theater with a picture: View link

Astyanax
Astyanax on March 7, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Attempted to see the latest Liam Neeson flick, Unknown at this venue. Having already had dinner at a local restaurant, I was not interested in the Fork & Screen experience. Plain and simple, I just wanted to enjoy a good escapist movie, no frills. The hostess claimed that the movie was sold out for non-dining patrons as it was clear that the theater was holding out for those patrons willing to shell-out big-bucks for the food package. I find waitress service at entertainment events to be a distraction, even when they try crawling on their knees to be less conspicuous. AMC can keep their Fork & Screen concept. Instead I drove to Montclair and enjoyed Cedar Rapids at the Claridge. By dining out, and going for drinks and coffee at a local pub afterwards, I got to support some local merchants and not the corporate coffers of AMC.

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