best movie theater in sacramento
Quite possibly I am among the only three people left in the world who did not see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 1, in any of our Sacramento movie theaters, and I certainly did not exhibit any enthusiasm about watching it on TV. My husband’s intentions, I believe, were to bring me up to speed on the first movie, which would then entice me to go the movies to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. A plan that backfired, initially.
Bear in mind I knew nothing about the movie except for the promo shot of the group: a wiseacre raccoon, a skinny chick with a sliced-up face, an enormous man with red scars all over his body, some sort of live tree that reminded me of David Bryne and, of course, that dorky dipshit from Parks and Recreation. “I’m a girrrllll,” I explained to my husband, about why I didn’t want to see it. No Max Max for me. Guns, trucks, loud noise, blowing up things.
But it’s not like Mad Max, the precious person I married argued, does ’80s music sound like Mad Max? This perplexed him. He pointed out that I had willingly gone to see Dr. Strange. “Because I’m a girrrllll.” It took him a few minutes but then he realized that some women would watch Benedict Cumberbatch read the obituaries. Long story short, I relented, watched the movie on TV, and then decided we could go to one of our favorite Sacramento movie theaters to see Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2.
We had not yet been to the Century Arden theater since they had torn down the domes and constructed this state-of-the-art movie theater on Ethan Way. The size of the complex is enormous. A stylishly coiffed woman greeted us as we entered, took my cell and scanned my Fandango icon, which is self service. Two tickets popped out. Popcorn and self-serve soft drinks are to the right, she said, and fried chicken, pizza, other food, along with beer and wine to the left.
Oh, this was a different experience. Two ticket takers grabbed our tickets and directed us down a long hall. With every step, popcorn kernels fell from my overstuffed bag, like Hansel and Gretel dropping breadcrumbs to find their way back. I felt like a sloppy guest making an unwelcome mess out of a lovely scene, like every time Donald Trump enters a room. Anywhere.
But then I remembered I had preselected seats through Fandango. An aisle greeter helped us to find our seats in the dark. The seats felt like luxurious leather. Like an oversized massage chair. My fingers found a button that simultaneously raised the foot rest and lowered the seat back. Hey, this was almost better than First Class on Air France.
And now, I am completely ruined. I can no longer go to any other Sacramento movie theaters after visiting Century Arden 14. You gotta try this. I can’t believe we once had to sit straight up in a crummy auditorium chair to watch a movie.
The movie? It was enjoyable and a lot of fun. Even though out of all the music over the last five decades of our last century, I would not say I much cared for the 1980s, it fit the story. If you ask me, the 1980s was the worst decade ever for just about anything. But then I didn’t graduate high school in 1980, like some people related to me. And that dork from Parks and Recreation? He is all grown up now, pumped and buffed.
Where are your favorite movie theaters in Sacramento? My husband refuses to go to movie theaters in Laguna or Elk Grove because they show too many commercials, which is partly why we ended up driving to Davis on Sunday to catch SPOTLIGHT. Davis is only 15 minutes from our home in Land Park. Ordinarily, we see most of our movies at the Tower Theatre in Land Park because we can easily walk there and Tower Theatre shows many of the independent movies we want to see. We can also walk downtown to the Crest Theatre, but there is not much on the screen there nowadays except for Oscar-nominated short films or old classics.
Our next choice for movie theaters in Sacramento is generally Century Downtown Plaza but they closed those theaters earlier this month due to the construction of the The Golden 1 Center and the redevelopment of the downtown mall now called Downtown Commons, aka DOCO. It was hard enough finding parking for that theater due to the construction. There was Macy’s but the parking lot was so small and cramped, even to go shopping at Macy’s meant one had to circumvent the lot several times to find a spot.
Fortunately, the new theaters at Downtown Commons are slated to open this fall with nine screens, and I can’t wait. Hey, that’s a long time to wait, between now and “sometime in fall.” That’s enough time to get pregnant and give birth, for somebody else, not me, of course. The thing I like about going to the movies downtown is the walk is far enough to burn off the calories acquired by stuffing my face with popcorn, and it is enjoyable to walk from Land Park to downtown, even though some people can’t imagine walking “so far.” What? It’s about a mile.
If we can’t find a movie we like at the Tower or Downtown, then our next choice in favorite movie theaters in Sacramento has generally been Century Stadium 14 over by ‘Bout Arden on Ethan Way. Plenty of parking, quick popcorn service, clean and spacious theaters under the domes. But now the domes are being demolished, and that complex is closed until fall as well, when a new 14 theater Century Stadium will open. It’s where we recently saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as required by federal law, my husband said. We try to stay away from Arden Fair if we can, too many kids and dumpy theaters.
What all of this means is after we watch every movie at the Tower Theatre, we will probably have to drive to Davis to see a movie in Sacramento between now and next fall. Well, we can always take the long way and drive over the beautiful Tower Bridge.
Photo: Elizabeth Weintraub