AMC Essex Green

495 Prospect Avenue,
West Orange, NJ 07052

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

Astyanax
Astyanax on March 8, 2011 at 3:55 am

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.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on December 18, 2010 at 7:14 am

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

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 26, 2010 at 4:20 am

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.

KennyT
KennyT on November 25, 2010 at 10:59 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.

John Fink
John Fink on November 25, 2010 at 4:12 am

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.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on November 24, 2010 at 3:40 am

The Essex Green us not listed on the THX website.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on November 19, 2010 at 12:50 am

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 15, 2010 at 11:58 pm

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

poland626
poland626 on November 10, 2010 at 12:22 am

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.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on August 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

shouldn’t the status of the theater be listed as closed/renovating?

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 6, 2010 at 10:23 pm

An additional article about the closing/conversion: View link

misterrick
misterrick on July 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm

There are some changes ahead for the Essex Green Cinema. AMC is closing the 13 year old theater as a Nineplex in the beginning of August and will tenatively reopen it in December as the state’s first Fork & Screen theater. According to the West Orange Patch website (See link below) AMC will reduce the theater capacity by 65 percent with the remaining 35 percent used for luxury dining. Admission to the Fork and Dine will be restricted to patrons 18 years of age and older unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Cinema Suites only are for guests 21 years of age or older.

AMC Theater to Close, Undergo Renovation as State’s First ‘Fork & Screen'
View link

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on June 15, 2010 at 10:14 pm

all screens now digital.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on December 21, 2009 at 11:44 pm

seems that one of the screens was retrofitted with a 3-D screen just in time for Avatar.

moviebuff82
moviebuff82 on November 17, 2009 at 8:21 pm

any word on when digital projection comes to this theater?

Astyanax
Astyanax on January 31, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Excellent neighborhood movie theater – can’t beat being able to get to the theater in ten minutes, not having to deal with crowds, and getting excellent stadium seats, on the first day of a mvoie opening. Grabbing something at Panera’s next door is also a perk. Staff have always been courteous and overall, teen groups seem well behaved, and the theater appears clean and well run.

Would prefer a mix of indie product along with Hollywood fare, but they do score points for hosting the West Orange Classics festival. Infinitely better movie going experience over the Clifton Commons. Hope that any AMC /Loews restructuring will not ruin a good thing!

John Fink
John Fink on August 24, 2005 at 9:41 pm

Thats horrable considering the triplex was nice and didn’t really attract a huge, obnoxious crowd. The theatre still does well, it proves AMC won’t close a theatre because it’s “too small” for them, they have modified the grounds to make it less teen friendly but I never saw a real problem there, the movie goers (a cross section of diffrent races, ecnomic and social backrounds) never seemed to cause a problem, I always thought of it a nice place to go to the movies.

doines
doines on August 24, 2005 at 9:34 pm

The township of West Orange made them take out the games and put up the signs. Every problem that happens in that center is blamed on the theatre.

General Cinema originally tried to build a 14-plex there, but the township wouldn’t approve that, so it got scaled back to a 9-plex. GC was made to pay for the police sub-station as a condition of getting the original building permit.

That theatre continues to survive, despite the township doing all they can to kill it.

John Fink
John Fink on July 18, 2005 at 8:43 am

The thing is it doesn’t really – the “kids” that hang out in the green around by the theatre to me don’t suggest “gangs” in anyway, they mostly are like 14-16, they can get anoying but not violent or anything really. Maybe they had a problem. But the West Orange PD has a substation in Essex Green next to the theater. Another measure they took in cutting crowds is that they planted a garden where these teens used to dwell, confining the space in which they can chill to strictly in front of police substation.

The funniest thing are those 15-rules which I intend to post when I get the time. I’ve seen Codes of Conduct before at the movies, but this was written out in to such a long legal agreement form that I had to ask the management for a copy of them on paper.

dave-bronx™
dave-bronx™ on July 18, 2005 at 5:43 am

Sounds like they were having serious problems there if they eliminated the revenue-generating game machines, Does this theatre attract a rough crowd?

John Fink
John Fink on July 18, 2005 at 12:46 am

Yes. See General Cinema Essex Green I-III. This is a tottally new complex. The old cinema (behind Stern’s/Macy’s now) which was torn down after this one opened is the theatre you’re refering to.

Coate
Coate on July 18, 2005 at 12:41 am

I believe this was the first THX-certified theater in the NYC metro area.

John Fink
John Fink on July 18, 2005 at 12:17 am

I was there the other night. They now have a set of 15 rules, a massive code of conduct that is about as discript as a legal agreement, taking up an entire poster case (in type 14 font, I bet). These rules almost distroy the spunk of an Essex Green movie, they have made the lobby in to a virtual ghost town (elliminating most seating) – the cafe is now compleatly gone as well as any arcade games (the cafe at Clifton Commons is occasionally open).

It’s a little shocking AMC is still operating a 9-screen house, a few years before the merger they gave up the Headquarters 10 (not all that far from this one) because it was too small for their fleet. I’m shocked AMC just doesn’t offer this one up to Clearview (even though it does have stadium seating and still does pretty well for itself).