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Our Movie Date at Old Town Warren

Posted on September 20, 2009 by under Movies, Things to Do.    

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I noticed that Brian blogged about the Director’s Suite so I thought I would share some pictures. We were in there last night watching the late show of The Informant! — the new Matt Damon flick. The movie itself was okay, but I figured this blog would be dedicated to reviewing our experience in the Director’s Suite.

The prices are pretty reasonable: $12 for matinee shows (includes $4 food voucher) and $18 for evening shows (includes $8 food voucher). Brian and I paid $36 for our movie tickets last night but, after redeeming $16 in food vouchers, the actual cost of the movie ticket is really just $10 — only $1 more than watching a movie one of the regular auditoriums. At first glance, I thought it was a pretty good value. Then again, is it really worth the extra $1? We couldn’t really answer that until after we’d watched a movie in there.

Unlike the Balcony at 13th Avenue Warren, there is no assigned seating. My suggestion is to get there early so that you have your choice of seats. The problem with arriving late is that a couple of the rows only has three seats. If you get there too late then you won’t be able to sit next to your partner. This wasn’t a problem for us because Brian and I are always early to everything. LOL.

The reclining chairs are pretty comfortable. There are 22 seats altogether. Most rows consist of four seats. The suite is long and narrow. Brian and I sat in the next to the last row. I think I would have preferred to sit closer to the screen because it’s really tiny. The screen and suite actually remind me of someone’s basement home theater room. All I needed was a Snuggie. =P

It’s not too bad if the person in front of your reclines their seat. However, for a short person like me, the head of the person in front of me gets in the way unless their seat is reclined. It’s fine when they are in the recline position and I am not, but when I recline my seat also then their head is once again blocking my view. I really hate that.

While the viewing experience is not that great, the dining experience is crappier yet. Our show started at 10:15 PM, but they wouldn’t seat us until 30 minutes before. The problem with this is that the service is really slow. Our food did not arrive until almost halfway through our movie. This meant having to eat in the dark, which I really hate. At least when we’re in the Balcony, our food usually arrives before the show or during the previews (except for when we watched Die Another Day because they were shorthanded that time and it was more like Die of Starvation). Besides not seeing what you’re eating, eating during the movie makes you miss stuff because you’re eating instead of giving the movie your complete and undivided attention.

Another thing that is really distracting is when they come to pick up everyone’s plates. If the head of the person in front of me is getting in my way, you can imagine how distracting a person who’s standing there picking up plates is… Gah! Also, it’s hard to ignore it when someone enters the suite because the door isn’t quiet at all, and there’s the clanking of plates just outside. I can’t tell if the suite is just poorly soundproofed or if the door has been left open; thus allowing the sounds to come through. Though the server tried to be quiet when settling the bills, it was still really distracting because they verbally told you what you owed instead of just giving you your check like in the Balcony. It was very annoying. I think they need to streamline that whole process.

The Director’s Suite is small and intimate so I think it is more suitable for private parties than for actual movie watching. If you are movie buff, the screen is way too small to really enjoy the show. Personally, my preference would be to watch movies in one of the larger auditoriums; otherwise, it would be just like watching a movie at home and I don’t have to pay $36 to do that.

I saw some pictures of the Showcase Lounge on the Warren Theaters web site. This was previously Oscars, the theater sports bar, which has now been redone so they can show movies in there. There are actual tables instead of the makeshift plastic ones that insert into your seat’s cup holder, so the dining experience is probably better. Though, if your food isn’t delivered until after the movie starts, then I’d have the same issues. The screen in there is way bigger, though, because it is an actual auditorium. We’ll probably check that one out one of these days and report back.

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