What’s the Cinemark difference?

posted by JoelWeide on June 13, 2008 at 12:50 am

Can someone tell me what is the difference between Cinemark’s theater designs. There appear to be three different styles: 1.) The movies, 2.) Tinseltown USA, and 3.) Cinemark.

Do they have different amenities, projection capabilities, cater to different audiences? What makes them different? Also the front design of the Tinseltown USA design is there any significence to it? The four large columns on the front specifically.

Thank you!

Comments (13)

Robert Allen
Robert Allen on June 13, 2008 at 2:56 am

I can’t tell you why the different theatre designs. (We have both a Tinseltown and The Movies in our area). But I can tell you that CineMark targets the same audience that the distributors are targeting and has absolutely no knowledge of the demographics in any given area. The company’s bookers do not seem to care or have any desire to be creative. It seems that they believe whatever goes over in LA, NY or Chicago will go over anywhere.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on June 13, 2008 at 7:24 am

Leave LA out of it. We have Grauman’s Chinese, The Cinerama Dome, Mann’s Village in Westwood and a host of other silver screen palaces. Cinemark’s theatres are built for the suburbs – not for REAL MOVIE FANS!

GaryParks on June 13, 2008 at 7:45 am

Okay—since we’ve got a little levity going here…Perhaps the four columns have some sort of mytical significance…like old churches having three entrances symbolizing the Trinity. Okay…maybe not.
But seriously, the standardization of theater designs goes way back into exhibition history, sort of an architectural corporate branding, if you will. Warner Bros. made “templates” for several standardized art deco theater designs of established seating capacities to be built throughout the country. Had the Depression not occurred, these plans may have been carried out fully. As it is, Warner theaters of the late 20s and early 30s did tend toward an overall look, once art deco “high style” became the norm. Loew’s in the 1930s had a specific style of vertical sign, seen all over the world from Cleveland to Cairo. RKO had a specific look to their marquees and verticals of the 30s. Fox West Coast planned a chain of prefabricated theaters after WWII, which would have likely proliferated, were it not for TV. As it was, only the prototype—Long Beach’s Crest—was built, though one was almost built in San Jose. And let’s not forget others in the LA area, where United Artists Theatres had those standardized facades with the incised relief figures of Unity and Artistry which appeared on a bunch of theaters there, plus one in the Bay Area (Berkeley, still operated by Regal as a 7-plex).

GaryParks on June 13, 2008 at 7:46 am

sigh one proofreads and proofreads…and STILL stuff sneaks by. In the first line, that word is supposed to be “mystical.”

jimpiscitelli on June 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm

There is no difference in amenities, projection or caters to difference in our Cinemark Theaters. The Melrose Park and the Seven Bridges in Woodridge, IL use the Cinemark brand. The North Aurora uses the Tinseltown brand and in Joliet it uses the Movies brand. The Evanston 12 and CineArts 6, the Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and the Deer Park uses the Century Theatres brands (Cinemark acquired Century Theaters in 2006). The Stratford Square has all 16 screens with digital projection and the Seven Bridges also has an IMAX Theater. Any Cinemark Theater that is showing Independent/Foreign films are listed in the CineArts section.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 13, 2008 at 4:43 pm

The different brands/designs all just depend on when the company built the theatre.

“Movies #” was probably their earlier design, likely developed when they first started building theatres from the ground up. They have the dizzying checkerboard floors and tile backsplashes, green, orange and purple walls and the purple seats. Usually each location had a dual panel marquee in the front separated by the Cinemark medallion with the tower proudly declaring “Movies 8”.

I’d be interested in learning how many of each era of theatre are still in operation for that company. How many UA the Movies 4 are there still under Regal’s banner? And if not Regal, how many are still relatively untouched? Is there a vintage 70’s GCC CINEMA I-II-III somewhere? I’m sure most of the 70’s AMC’s are closed now. Some of the 80’s AMC’s had 90’s AMC’s built onto them to keep them viable. How long until those go?

Next came “Tinseltown” which seems to be what they were building during the megaplex/stadium seating explosion. Same loud “Front Row Joe” colors but most Tinseltowns were/are 14+ screens.

There were a few “Hollywood” branded theatres during that time, I don’t know how that all fits in with the corporate development, but I imagine it was dropped when Wallace/Hollywood Theatres began a building boom so Cinemark may have decided to scrap that idea. The only difference I could find between the Tinseltown and Hollywood designs were that the Hollywood designs were louder and usually had more yellow tiles than white.

After that is the “Cinemark” brand. The brown and maroon color scheme with the black and orange carpet. The faux gold poster frames and the pink/red rocking chairs in the auditoriums. This seems to me the time that Cinemark realized their older theatres were kinda cheesy looking and decided that since they were spending millions of dollars they might want to make the theatres more luxurious than tacky.

As far as the steamboat looking Tinseltowns, I’ve seen that same plan in both Tinseltown and Cinemark brands so I don’t think it was unique to one or the other, though the newer ones (Tinseltown 16 in Lubbock, TX for example) may have been rennovated with the new color scheme. The one constant in that design was the bigger the complex, the more box offices it had and therefore more “steam stacks” coming out the roof. 20+ usually had 3-4, 16’s had 3-4, 14’s had 2-3.

Every chain has their trademark design for each era. AMC has their cookie cutter 4-6 plexes of the late 70’s early 80’s. Then they had their 8-12 plexes with the one or two box offices in the center, lobby in in the middle with 4 screens on the left and 4 on the right. “AMC Entertainment” neon over the snack bar. Then during the megaplex boom they have their crazy “Space Port” designs with the starfield carpet. Then they have their in between phase with the tacky Hollywood star murals and their current design with the movie quote wallpaper and terrazzo with inlaid quotes.

Century Theatres had the pink cinderblock walls with the red vomit carpet that was in EVERY location until about 1995. (Some still have it.) There were three transition theatres that were built to have the pink walls but were upgraded after Ray Syufy Sr. passed away. These three were the same layout as most the others but had upgraded everything. Then with the stadium theatres they experimented a bit and had two theatres that were INSANELY huge and by the time the 3rd stadium was built they fell into a groove with the self-serve island snack bar coming off the back wall of the lobby with a Century mural over the kitchen door. From there the only things that really changed were the color schemes and a new mural every few years.

Regal has their generic 16-plex with the “REGAL” tower. Carmike has their old builds “Carmike” vs. the newer “Wynnsong”. Pacific Theatres had the “People Pleasing People” designs vs. the newer “Focus”. General Cinema had their blue-red-and-wood era of the 80’s and then switched it up with the update in the 90’s. Loews had their 80’s 8-plexes with the tacky pencil drawn movies stars over the island lobby, then the white-red-black-and gray tile lobbies and glass atrium of the 90’s, then the Star-Loeks design and then the weird Gingerbread looking theatres right before they went under. UA had the “UA the Movies” then the “Escape to the Movies” and then the “United Artists*” schemes. Lord knows every Cineplex Odeon looked the same in the 90’s. Edwards went from a very 1985 bare bones look to “NEON EVERYWHERE!” Harkins had their glass block and neon phase which has given way to their latest uniform look. Every Plitt I’ve ever seen pictures of looked the same.

As you can see, I pay a lot of attention to the different building types each chain has had. It’s just the natural evolution of the company and the theatre business in general.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on June 14, 2008 at 3:30 am

Very informative, Scott!

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on June 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Thank God the world of “theater design” still has the magnificent talents of JOSEPH MUSIL and his American Museum of Theatrical Design in Santa Ana, California. 714-667-6959

Mr. Musil is THE final word when it comes to fabulous Art Deco design. But Joe does branch out in the 1920’s era of movie palaces. Disney’s El Capitan in Hollywood tops his list of numerous triumphs across this country!

larrygoldsmith on June 15, 2008 at 1:35 am

If you are talking about Cinemarks difference in theatre design, as in difference of architecture, it may partly come that company buying out other chains of theatres. Most recently, the Century/Syufy chain of theatres. Cinemark bought out the west coast brand of Century, however, the names of Centurys theatres did not change.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on June 16, 2008 at 1:19 am

Every chain has their trademark design for each era. AMC has their cookie cutter 4-6 plexes of the late 70’s early 80’s. Then they had their 8-12 plexes with the one or two box offices in the center, lobby in in the middle with 4 screens on the left and 4 on the right. “AMC Entertainment” neon over the snack bar. Then during the megaplex boom they have their crazy “Space Port” designs with the starfield carpet. Then they have their in between phase with the tacky Hollywood star murals and their current design with the movie quote wallpaper and terrazzo with inlaid quotes.

AMC Entertainment does has a few theatres that are not the cookie-cutter variety. For starter, you have the Empire 25, which is 7 floors, the first floor (where the ticket office is) is thwe old auditorium of the original Empire Theatre. Floor 3 to 7 are the current auditoriums.

Another AMC Theatre with a unique design is The AMC Neshaminy 24, Bensalem, PA, which has the 4 big auditoriums (Auditoriums #1-2 and #23-24) in the front of the building, then a hallway (on the left and right) for Auditoriums #3-6 and #19-22, then a long hallway that goes to the back of the building where Auditoriums #7-12 and #13-18 are located. The 2 Main “Metropolis” concession stands are located between Aud # 1 & 2, and #23 & 24, and the “Uptown” stand is between #12 & 13. The only other AMC Theatre that has this design is in Spain.

Of the 10-plexes, The AMC Woodhaven 10, Bensalem, PA has its own unique design, with 4 theatres on the left (Acme) side, and 6 on the right (Home Depot) side. This was due to design of the Home Depot Plaza in which it is located in, and the fact that the Woodhaven 10’s former location, The Woodhaven Mall 4 Cinema, is located next door to the Woodhaven 10’s right side.

jmarellano on June 16, 2008 at 9:42 am

Another AMC that is different from the rest is AMC La Jolla 12. It opened in 1994 before the stadium seating era, and is strange design with 3 theatres down a little hall to the right side of the main lobby, and 9 theatres down the main hall.

On a side note, the Loews designed AMC Atlantic Times Square 14 in Monterey Park I beleive is the very last Lowes designed theatre to open. It has the look of a Late model Lowes theatre, but who knows what the inside will be like. There are pictures of it floating around, but here is the layout:


There will be 2 theatres in the mail lobby area, and 14 down the hall. This theatre is scheduled to open sometime next year. Walls are not up yet.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on June 18, 2008 at 8:05 am

We do have 2 of the Cinemark Theatres in the Philadelphia are. They are:

Movies 16, Somerdale, NJ
Movies 10, Wilmington/Newark, DE

In the rest of Pennsylvania, the Cinemark Theatres are:

Cinemark 12, Center Township
Millcreek Cinema 6, Erie
Movies 17, Erie
Cinemark 20, Moosic
Cinemark 18 and IMAX, Tarentum

swdailey on October 11, 2009 at 9:05 am

The Cinemark in Kansas City, Missouri is a 15-screen theater partially shoehorned into an old building that originally was a Sears, on the Plaza. See The Palace on the Plaza entry. Anyway, I doubt it resembles any other Cinemark facility due to its unique location.

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