Changes are in the offing at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas that include the addition of electronic seats, a lobby makeover, reserved seating, alcohol, and even newly designed finishes and fixtures to make every bathroom encounter feel like your first.
It was inevitable that Landmark would follow the lead of other legitimate theater chains (like the Angelika) or restaurants that show movies (like the Lot or Cinepolis). In the eyes of desperate exhibitors, art is no longer cinema’s key nutrient. To their way of thinking, craft beers and bar food, not what’s onscreen, pave the road to financial well-being. (Ed. note — and before that, it was popcorn and soda.)
Electric leather recliners will be available in the three big houses, with what are being called “oversize VIP seats” in the remaining two. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent 60 years on this planet with my feet firmly glued to sticky multiplex floors and my ass never cared where it was parked so long as what was on-screen was framed, focused, and even somewhat forcible.
A couple of cocktails and a Laz-Z-Boy are a recipe for slumber. Theater chains would be wise to put in a line of earplugs to complement their booze sales. When I saw Batman vs. Superman, a guy clutching two bottles of beer took his position four seats to my left and proceeded to snore so loudly throughout that the bastard kept me awake.
A merry prankster once scrawled “Flush hard, it’s got to go all the way to the booth” on the inside door of a bathroom stall at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinema. That line of memorable graffiti, the first to meet with my approval upon arriving in San Diego 16 years ago, is quite logical when one considers both comfort stations (and the manager’s office) occupy the upper-floor of the multiplex.
The theater is seldom open for business when press screenings let out, so managers look the other way and allow members of the working press to use the otherwise reserved “accessible” facilities located downstairs. If memory serves, the institutional water closets located on the upper lever were designed to make ex-convicts feel at home.
Newly renovated commodes will not come equipped with electronic footrests.
Exact dates were not specified, but expect the transformation to be completed by summer’s end. As for the Ken, it’s fine as is. Leave it the hell alone!