Lately I have been focusing mostly on trying new food places so this time I thought I would try something in the genre of entertainment. Using the 365 Days of things to do around Pasadena list, I found the Academy Cinema (number 17 on the list).
The Academy Cinema in Pasadena is run by the Regency Theatre group. It hosts movies that are no longer in the mainstream theaters but are not yet available for purchase or rental via DVD or digital download. The Matinee (any show before 6pm) prices is $2, Regular price (after 6pm) is $3 and the Saturday Midnight screenings are priced at $8. I decided I would see the 5:10pm Matinee of Disney’s Brave.
When I arrived there, I realized that you get what you pay for. The ticket prices are low but the food prices are way overpriced, like any other theater. I didn’t even bother with drinks or popcorn when I noticed that the cheapest combo price was $9.
Maybe I have become spoiled by the ArcLight cinemas (my preferred movie experience) but the Academy Cinema needs some serious TLC. The bathrooms were vandalized (lots of profanity written on the inside of the doors). The theater had not been cleaned since the previous showing. There were drinks and garbage still sitting in the cup holders through the theater. There was also a strange, unpleasant odor lingering in the air inside the theater–perhaps from the trash. There was plenty of staff just standing around the concession stands chatting. I’m sure someone could have inspected the theater before allowing patrons inside–like other theaters do.
They also left the doors open so you could clearly hear all the noise in the lobby. There was only a curtain to serve as a buffer between the door and our seats inside the theater but that too was left open. I actually got up to close the doors and the curtain once the film had started. (The staff was again standing around talking when I went to close the door–one noticed me and offered to do it for me but I had already completed the task).
In addition, the seats were uncomfortable and made an annoying squeak every time you moved. Patrons were on their cell phones or talking throughout the film. Again, I am used to the ArcLight where this kind of behavior wouldn’t fly and the seats are very comfy.
The movie itself was a good film but I would rather wait to spend the $2 to rent it from Redbox and watch it in the comfort of my own home instead of going through another experience at the Academy Cinema. As Mr. MoviePhone would say at the end of a bad review, “I’m out.”