Movies are Back: Make Your Theater Going Experience Unique

The usual movie theaters don’t need to be the norm: enjoy something different

Movies are Back: Make Your Theater Going Experience Unique

Natasha Larencule, Editorial Board

During COVID-19, theaters made many precautions to keep their patrons safe. These included rules such as to not enter the cinema if you’re sick, that you must wear protective masks unless enjoying food and beverages, that you have to maintain social distancing from anyone not in your party, and that employees must frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Now that COVID-19 is rapidly withering away, you may be thinking about going back to the movies for the latest releases. So, let’s look at your options for theaters.

Around the Brewster area, we used to have Empire Cinemas within Value Village. This location gave you a sweet taste of a cozy small theater, but during COVID, the theater hasn’t held showings. (We are hoping they reopen soon!). However, a multiplex theater like Danbury AMC 16 is also a great place to go. Multiplexes are traditionally eight or more screens under one roof, playing multiple movies at many different times. For a great experience, you should be sure that your megaplex theater has stadium seating for the best view. Additionally, one of the positives of partaking in a megaplex is the added amenities they sometimes carry with them, which can include all types of food and even waitstaff that will bring you meals to your seat (See Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers). Additionally, you have options within the multiplex that includes Dolby Surround Sound and Digital Projection. Thankfully, many of these theaters have reserved seating, so you can make sure you have a great view of the screen.

Another option is the beloved IMAX screens that all elementary students know so well when visiting an aquarium. To make these grand pictures on a screen, film crews specialize in using IMAX technology movie cameras to film its resolutions and sizes. For an IMAX movie theater, an IMAX specialized projector becomes a necessary part. These amazing images are sized on 70mm film, which is 10 times the size of regular 35mm film, giving a bigger picture with better clarity. The best part is that IMAX is generally reserved for the most popular movie franchises or epic movies due to higher budgets. (Fun fact: did you know that Disney+ has an IMAX setting which takes into account the wider options for movies that played in IMAX when they were in theaters?)

Another theater option is watching a film in 3D, (which is offered locally at the Carmel Cinema). This approach requires a set of special glasses. However, you can also find some 4D projection theaters that incorporates the sense of touch, often found in many vacation spots. In this theater, wind, water, and rumble seats are used to make you feel like your are there. For example, if something wet was splashed onto a character, you might feel splashes of water from the ceiling as a trick to keep you entertained. To view the screen properly, you would normally wear a pair of 3D glasses that allow you to see both images

Yet another option are independent & second-run theaters which are often found in old neighborhood movie houses that have become part of building conservation efforts. Second run theaters, also known as discount theaters, offer films that have been out for awhile at a discounted rate. Independent theaters tend to run foreign films or lesser known titles that don’t get a larger release. It’s a chance to see something unique.

Finally, if you’ve ever seen Grease, we all know the scene of Danny and Sandy at the drive-in. Believe it or not, these types of theaters are still around (with three in our area – Warwick, Poughkeepsie, and Hyde Park). Between 1950 & 1960, drive-in theaters acquired wide-spread success. During this time, the U.S. had more than 4,000 drive-in theaters around the country. Today, due to these theaters needing large outdoor spaces, only 300 or so exist in the U.S. but nothing replicates the experience.

While you know you have all of these options and may be adventuring out more the choice is yours, but I think we can all agree that nothing matches the smell of fresh popped movie popcorn from any and all of them.