Theater Report Card: The Landmark Revisited

The Landmark

Back in July I kicked off a feature where I planned to review the different movie theaters in the L.A. area with an inaugural review of The Landmark in West L.A. The idea was essentially stillborn because I didn’t think it would be very interesting to anyone who doesn’t actually live in Los Angeles. I might pick it up again or I may not. I’ve noticed however that I still get search hits to my original review. Since I’ve been back a few times since then, I think it’s only fair to update my further impressions. They’re not great.

The good news is that there is more lobby seating, and they moved the straw containers so you can get one when you get your drink instead of having to contend with the Condiment Island of Pain, Suffering and Slowness. The auditoriums are still top notch, though the last time I was there, the screen seemed a little small for the size of the room.

The bad news is that, contrary to what I’d been told, you can’t print out your ticket in advance. You have to pick it up at the box office or one of the kiosks. I’m not a fan of the extra step. Call me impatient. Also, there still aren’t enough bathrooms. Finally, and this is most disappointing of all, the concession stand is a huge roadblock when it’s busy. If you’re someone who goes on a weekday or if you don’t buy popcorn, this won’t be a problem, but if you like a snack and you go on a weekend. Be prepared to wait.

The problem I think is that all of the fancy snacks they brag about require some kind of preparation time. The cashier keeps disappearing back into the kitchen to heat something up and the line takes forever. If they’re going to be fancy, they need a new system. More microwaves and more people running them.

I’m lowering their grade from A- to B. They’re still pretty good, but I won’t go out of my way to go there unless I’m already dying to go to Apple Pan across the street (which in case you’ve forgotten has the 2nd best apple pie in Los Angeles). Otherwise, Arclight remains my first choice.

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17 thoughts on “Theater Report Card: The Landmark Revisited

  1. That seems a big drop – A- to B. Did someone get to you? Are you now a douche monkey flunky for the Arclight and Pasadena Pie ‘n Burger conglomerates? What’s the payoff here – free movie tickets and all the apple pie you can eat?

    I’ll never forgive The West LA Landmark for giving Blade Runner – The Final Cut such a short run that I couldn’t get down from SF in time to see it. And I don’t care if it wasn’t their fault.

  2. Full disclosure: I’m a huge Arclight supporter though it’s far from perfect. Still, I’m also massively impatient. Not being able to preprint my ticket, and excessive line-waiting are deal breakers for me. Plus, the last one is kind of a double whammy because one of the big selling points of The Landmark is the fancy shmancy snackage. Since this has become a drawback…well you do the math.

    Also, I checked last night and Blade Runner appears to be playing for another week. I’m shocked it hasn’t played in SF however.

  3. BR:FC isn’t playing Portland or Seattle either. I think it’s only in LA and NY still, which is stupid considering the hype was in full swing two weeks ago.

  4. Damn, CJ! This weekend was when I could have made it down to LA (my wife is attending a conference at Long Beach and I would have accompanied her). When I e-mailed Landmark last week they told me the run was only for a week. And it’s too late now to make the arrangements. Bastards.

  5. I was surprised too Sartre, that sucks. More comfortable with my B rating now?

    If I was Johnny on the Spot, I would’ve been there last weekend to see how big of a crowd it was drawing. Had it been Arclight, I would have!

  6. I was and I am. I just didn’t have the energy to make it over to West LA last weekend. I was on the verge of going last night before it disappeared and that’s when I checked the schedule and saw that it’s playing another week. I aim to see it this weekend.

  7. No!
    You have to post the review on the site, CJ.
    Even if it’s one of those concise Chicago Reader Jonathan Rosenbaum-style one-paragraph wonders.
    Pris can inspire you to be pithy and crisp.
    (say that 5 times fast)

  8. Saw it tonight. It was awesome and so was the pie. Seriously though, I can’t see myself doing a real review of it. What do you say about friggin Blade Runner? What could I possibly add to the sum total of knowledge about that movie?

    Did I mention the pie kicked ass?

  9. Long story, but I haven’t actually SEEN Blade Runner in 10 or 15 years so I couldn’t do a fair comparison.

    It just seemed after a while that the version that was floating around wasn’t the real movie…you know what I mean? So I kind of avoided it.

    Anyway, the 4K digital projection looked pretty swell (though I’m still kind of on the fence about that whole thing). Some stuff seemed really grainy…I’m guessing that’s just the way it’s always been. I’m not a technical guy when it comes to that kind of stuff either.

    Long story short, I’m exactly the wrong person to ask about either of your questions. I can say that the movie holds up on its own without comparing it to what came before.

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