My husband Max was all revved up when he came home from seeing the new Tom Cruise flick.
“Was it that good?” I asked.
He shrugged. “The movie was OK,” he said, “but, man, the seats were great.”
Great movie theater seats?
What’s up with that?
Max is a tall guy who’s always complaining about leg room. And people kicking the back of his seat. He’s the classic curmudgeon who watches movies lodged in his easy chair at home.
After his sons dragged him to see “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” at Regal Alderwood Stadium 7 in Lynnwood, he was ready to go back.
Seats that were Max-approved? This I had to see.
Indeed. The theater has removed all those clunky seats that flip up and replaced them with faux-leather power recliners that have a footrest extension. The seven screening rooms are like luxury home theaters.
Sink in. Stick your giant soda in the side cup. Kick back and curl up with a bucket of popcorn.
The manager said a lot of people bring blankets.
The sidearms of select seats lift up to be ADA accessible, so it is possible for people in wheelchairs to scoot over into the recliner.
Seating is reserved. When you buy a ticket, online or at the window, you select your seat. That scored points with methodical Max. No more scrambling through a dark theater without a secured destination for two hours of R&R.
No more bumping elbows with strangers. The seats provide distance between you and any yakky, popcorn-smacking neighbors.
The row aisles have laminate flooring and are wide. That guy who gets up six times during the show and makes you get up so he can get by, he’s a bother no more. Once reposed, stay reposed.
All this was bound to happen. Theaters are pulling up more than the red carpet to entice the Maxes of the world from their caves and back to the cineplex.
This isn’t even the popular AMC Loews Alderwood Mall 16 megaplex that’s packed on weekends. It’s that often-overlooked other theater tucked on the side of a parking lot across from the mall.
I was dazzled by a ginormous candy machine robot in the hallway. The psychedelic kiosk called Sweet Amanda’s has 16 clear plastic cylinders filled with Skittles, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms and more. After a few taps on the touch screen and a credit card swipe, out drops a cute little to-go cup filled with heaven for $5.
The only thing the place lacked was a martini.
Not to worry. Cinebarre in Mountlake Terrace has that covered.
At Cinebarre, which is also owned by the Regal empire, there’s a giant — and I mean giant — bar in the lobby.
No one under age 21 is allowed in the building. Even I got carded at the door.
That’s right. No kids allowed. No noisy teens or gummy bears stuck to the seats. There’s no concession stand crush or bleeping video games. None of that gaudy patterned carpet on the floor, either. Instead there’s 10-foot-tall retro movie posters that create a cool vibe. Like a stroll through Tarantino’s mind.
Inside the eight screening rooms, alternating rows of seats were replaced with tables. The seats are run-of-the-mill, not the posh recliners, but to me the booze and food make up for that.
During the show, servers bring drinks and gourmet grub. Condiments are there at the ready. Ketchup is in a bottle, not little plastic packets.
Instead of those flimsy theater napkins, a roll of paper towels is mounted on the table.
I know where I’m watching my holiday blockbusters. I’ll be guzzling cocktails at Cinebarre. Max will be reclining at Regal.
Meantime, my daughter Megan will be enjoying a show at her favorite place: the balcony of Edmonds Theater.
The historic single-screen theater in downtown Edmonds was built in the 1920s and has been independently owned by the same family for more than 30 years.
No fancy drinks. No fancy seats. For Megan, the magic of the movies is still where it was 100 years ago: on the screen.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.
What’s it going to cost?
Regal Alderwood Stadium 7: 3501 184th St. SW, Lynnwood; www.regmovies.com. Tickets online range from $11.33 to $17.93 (RPX) for adults; $9.75 to $14.87 (RPX), child and senior.
Cinebarre Mountlake 8: 6009 244th St. SW, Mountlake Terrace; 425-672-7501; www.regmovies.com. Tickets online range from $10.70 to $16.78 (3D) for adults; $10.49 to $14.47 (3D) for seniors.
The Edmonds Theater: 415 Main St., Edmonds; 425-778-4554; www.theedmondstheater.com. Tickets are $9 adults; seniors $8; and matinee/child, $7.
Whatcha going to see?