Movie theatres come and go

The summer between high school and college I worked at the AMC theatre at SeaTac Mall in Federal Way, WA.  It was the SeaTac 6 South.  The theatre was six box sized theatres all about the same size with just an aisle almost right down the middle of the theatre.  Being in the mall we could have midnight showings of films and they also had cult classics for many years like the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  There was also an AMC theatre across the street from the mall that was built much later and was a much nicer theatre.  I am not sure when AMC shut those theatres down but they have been gone for at least 5 years now.  The SeaTac mall is now called The Commons at Federal Way and I hear that they soon will have a Century Theatre there with a total of 16 screens in Federal Way.  Century will also have 14 screens in Olympia, WA as the Syufy brothers bring their California based theatre chain into Washington state.
AMC will have a new 14 plex in Kent, WA that will bring them up to about the number of screens  in the state as when I worked there.
A few theatres are no more.  Near the place I am in the process of moving out of was the Aurora Cinema Grill which is in the process of being torn down.  It was kind of an experiment in the area where you could actually order a meal to be served during the movie.  The seats and table were not as posh as what you can find in other major cites and the way they had the concept set up it really failed for few reasons.  One was that the food was not that good (think mostly what you could order at a bar).  While you could order and drink beer they would stop all wait service about 30 minutes into the movie.  The food and drink was over priced — yes there is movie prices on things but there I and assume others could never rationalize the bigger prices.  Lastly the theatre was independent and as such did not get a lot of big or interesting films.  There are only some many art films you can see where you also want to eat a meal at the same time.  The next theatre that was recently taken to the ground was the Northgate Theatre.  It was a big theatre on the same property as the Northgate Mall.  I really never liked that theatre but back in the day it was a big theatre and would get big movies.  They also had a little stage down front and some companies would use it for meeting space during the day.  For the last few years they have not shown movies there and have tired to have local concerts there but that never seemed to work for them.
On the Eastside there are changes also.  Across the street from the Bellevue Square Mall is the new Lincoln Square where there are a bunch of restaurants, a Westin hotel, and the Lincoln Square Cinemas which has 16 screens.  They had their grand opening Friday night and I stopped in there tonight to give it the once over.  The theatre itself is nice.  The seats rock back and the armrests/cupholders can be raised for those that cannot fit into the  larger than normal seat.  The ticket for a show at night was kind of a bummer at $9.50 but the concessions were the same price as everyone else.  I have to say that the popcorn was a bit salty and they are a Coke place if you really take a position in Coke vs. Pepsi.  The sound was not overly impressive but the screen did have a nice rich picture.  The theatre itself is not part of a chain but it is a welcome addition.  One of the interesting things was that they had a finger print scanner at every cash register.  I assume that each employee can just log into each cash register to start and help customers.  They have a lot of parking along with the fact you can use the mall parking make a good place on the Eastside.  The Bellevue Galleria should be worried being only a few blocks away and having a garage where you have to pay to park.  Maybe that is why they recently changed ownership and are now run by Hallett Cinemas which is a theatre chain from the East side of the state and Idaho which is now bringing new digital projectors to their first theatre on the West side of the state.

About Aaron Bregel

Just trying to get by
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