Sometimes, going to the theater is less about the show and more about the atmosphere. Luxurious seating, gorgeous colors, historical memorabilia and novelty all play a part in the cinematic experience. Regardless of what you’re seeing, any entertainment gets a boost in value when your surroundings are as intriguing (sometimes more so) as the scenes on the silver screen.
The Orange Cinema Club, Beijing
The pinnacle of Beijing nightlife has to be this tremendous theater, which offers patrons a full-on boutique experience. Robert Majkut designed this three-room theater with all the comforts of home (well, if you’re wealthy): sofas, pillows, blankets, and even butlers scurrying back and forth to deliver your drinks and popcorn.
The Electric Cinemas, London
In addition to a front row filled exclusively with double beds, this wonderfully refurbished 100 year-old Edwardian theater features interiors that blend history and cutting-edge technology into one seamless, aesthetically pleasing package. Guests who don’t want to go into debt for a bed can enjoy the film with leather armchairs, cashmere blankets and a wealth of booze and snacks.
The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Hollywood, California
This “theater” transgresses some from the venue’s more traditional definition, resembling more of a restaurant than a performance hall. In any case, the drive-in nostalgia is powerful for those who remember this 1950s kitsch fondly. Found at Disney World, the darkened dining areas consist of classic convertible cars pointed in the direction of a screen to simulate being outdoors at night.
The Enzian Theater, Maitland, Florida
The home of the Florida Film Festival, the Enzian Theater may only have one screen but it assumes a number of vital roles incredibly well. As beautiful as the inside of the theater is, you’ll want to wander outside to the Enzian’s Eden Bar for drinks and a full menu. According to Enzian’s website, it is a “member supported, non-profit cultural organization and all proceeds from membership fees, ticket sales, and food and beverage go toward supporting its mission.”
Hot Tub Cinemas, London and New York
Opulent skylines, a soak in a rooftop hot tub and a good flick: the premise for the Hot Tub Cinema is certainly a novel one. At a cool $55 per ticket, patrons are treated to a spot in a 4-6 person tub as well as access to waiters and an open bar. A group reservation includes the ability to designate a “tub captain”, who gets a $20 Uber gift certificate for a ride home. Post movie tub-hopping is encouraged.