Even in the age of Netflix and instant streaming downloads, movie theatres still pack in the crowds. There’s just something about the experience of sitting in a room with a few hundred people, watching the lights go down and the huge screen come to life.
But which Vancouver movie theatre is the best? Does the prize go to Tinseltown? Scotiabank? The musty old Granville 7? Fifth Avenue? The artsy Vancity? Or somewhere else? Not an easy question. So I’d like to ask you:
Do you have a favourite Vancouver movie theatre? Share your feedback by leaving a comment below.
But first, a few things to consider. First of all, what makes a great theatre?
Is it the size of the screen and the quality of the sound system? Is stadium-style seating, with big cupholders and movable armrests the key?
Or is it more about what’s on the screen – whether a theatre sticks with the predictable Hollywood blockbusters or ventures into alternative and art house fare?
Then, of course, there’s the popcorn factor. What are the concessions at the theatre like? Fresh, varied and reasonably priced? Or just stale old popcorn at $5 a bag?
And, finally, there’s the undefinable je ne sais quoi that distinguishes a merely good theatre from a great one. It could be a long and storied history; or an especially friendly and knowledgeable staff; or meticulously clean floors that are never sticky or caked with old popcorn and jujubes.
To get things rolling, I’d like to give a mention to Scotiabank Theatre on Burrard Street – possibly not the best theatre in the city, but definitely in the top five. Where Scotiabank really excells, in my book, is in the audio and visual department. Screens are massive. Sound is booming. The stadium-style seats ensure there’s not a bad seat in the house (well, unless you’re stuck in one of those front rows).
Plus, there’s a Burger King and Pizza Pizza right in the theatre – so instead of having to settle for some soggy old movie nachos, you can actually have a Whopper or a (relatively) fresh slice.
As with any theatre, there are some drawbacks. Parking downtown is hard to find and expensive. Concessions inside are pretty pricey. And, as is to be expected, Scotiabank tends to stick with the safe, Hollywood blockbusters – not much edgy stuff on offer.
But that’s just one opinion.
If you’ve got a favourite theatre, please leave a comment below.