Ahh, the summer is finally upon us. Summer, the time of year when the weather finally gets so nice we want to go outside. And then drive to our local multiplex. My personal recommendation is to run to IPic. Sure, I have a few concerns, but it's hard for me, a movie junkie/entertainment geek, to argue with results. And for me, results mean a great picture, great sound, and an overall great movie-going experience.
Oh, sure, I was skeptical when I heard about a movie theatre that had a mere 6 screens, all of which with 60 or 100 seats, approximately (as opposed to roughly several hundred seats at a standard multiplex. Reserved seating, higher ticket prices. I thought the idea was a little too upscale and couldn't work in today's theatre business environment with an emphasis on big screens, expensive concessions, constant advertisements, PG-13 movies, and teenagers. I also thought it wouldn't work in our area. Then it happened. Christmas Day. My wife and I longed to see a movie and hadn't been out of the house since our daughter was born. What can I say? It was convenient, a good time, and actually affordable.
Let me just stress that I'm still the local-loving independent-type you think I am. And I love history and community. So do I feel guilty that I prefer IPic over other long-standing cinemas in our community? Yeah, a little. But not much. As a parent I find leisure time in high demand. Planning for babysitting is often a last-minute affair. As for the local argument, well, IPic started here in Glendale. We're its testing grounds/cinematic guinea pigs. As for Bayshore, the mall has, for over 50 years, been an integral part of our community as not just a business venture but a responsible corporate citizen, as well. And let's face it, competition is a good thing for the consumer. Particularly in show business. Other cinemas could learn from IPic, and vice versa. Most importantly, the kinds of distractions that I, an uppity, persnickety perfectionist movie geek, deplore, have been dodged by IPic's attention to detail. I am totally sold on digital projection, by the way. (Although I still hate digital filmmaking and CGI abuse, but that's another column).
One of the things I love is that IPic has no commercials. Yes, it has trailers. And yes, trailers ARE, technically, commercials for other movies, Mr. Smarty-Pants, but trailers are part of that movie magic. Coming attractions, previews, teasers, trailers--whatever you call them, they're a necessity. What IPic doesn't include are distorted, poorly focused, ill conceived made-for-small-screen-but-distortedly-expanded-to-silver-screen commercials for soda, cars, and Barbie dolls blasted at us at an ungodly ridiculous decibel level. If you think that brevity makes no difference, think again. I forgot what it was like, in the era before commercial advertisements flooding the screen, what it was like to awaiting start of your movie. Most notably now, you can talk But beware: once you get a taste for those days gone by, you'll want more.
A few last thoughts about the price: for $14 per person, we got in, could have had free valet parking, got free dessert coupons for our next visit at the restaurant, got free popcorn in gargantuan proportions. Our sodas also came with free refills. When you get done with it, it's a better deal than your local multiplex. And the food we ordered for dinner from the bar was reasonably priced, served hot and was tasty. What could be better?
It's funny, I wanted to resist IPic as being hoity-toity. But what's so bad about elevating the movie-going experience? What's so bad about making a night at the movies feel like a night on the town again? I can't see anything wrong with that.