961 Broxton, Westwood 90024
Recording: 310-208-5576 / Voice: 310-208-0018 / Express Code: #051
Web Site: www.manntheatres.com Theater Type: first run, single screen Directions: NW corner of Broxton and Weyburn, 3 blocks north of Wilshire in Westwood Village. Go up Gayley or Westwood. Parking Tips: street meters (free after 7) or $2 in one of many garages with the PP logo; $1 is refunded when you purchase your ticket. Ticket Prices: 9.00 adults
6.25 students with ID (one ticket per ID)
5.50 ages 12 and under, 60+
5.50 before 6pm
Prices checked 12/25/99
Theaters: 1 – ~1350 seats (~1050 in orchestra, rest in balcony) THX 70 SR SRD DTS SDDS Comments: In my book, the best theater in Los Angeles, period.
The auditorium is huge (not the largest in town but it feels that way to me), the screen is huge (I believe over 60 feet wide) and the sound is huge (if recent math by someone in the know who may or may not want to be identified is correct, there are 18,000 watts in the theater sound system!). The movies they tend to book here are huge as well – usually action pictures, where bigger and louder is always better. This is what going to a movie theater is all about.
While the building dates from I believe the 1920′s, nearly everything inside is new. They’ve recently (past four months or so) remodeled, from polished marble(?) floors in the lobby to a beautiful new royal-purple curtain. A friend would complain every time we went that the seats were uncomfortable and the rows too close together. I noticed it, agreed, and kept going back for more. Now they’re fixed that one problem, with new rocking cupholder-in-the-armrest seats and a bit more space between the rows. I haven’t seen them yet (“Glimmer Man” and then “Thinner”, yet I had to go see “Long Kiss Goodnight” at a multiplex? Come on, guys!) but they’re the same as the new seats at the Bruin across the street and those are a vast improvement. Most of the sound equipment is recent (some added during the “Independence Day” run this summer) and even the screen looks almost new. (I heard that the center channel speaker fell through the screen during the Northridge earthquake and everything was subsequently replaced. True or not, the place looks and sounds great.)
There is basically no way to check on this for an individual film but the Village tends to get prints that are made with processes that result in the absolute highest quality image you can get. They’re also expensive to make and your average multiplex certainly won’t get them.
Two notes to avoid disappointment: being the greatest theater around, many world premieres are held here so if you’re going on a weeknight, check first as it may be closed for such an event. Frequently they’re Tuesdays, but they actually held the “Ransom” premiere this past Friday. (I don’t think I’d heard of a Friday premiere before, but again, they were showing “Thinner” so nobody missed anything.) Also, being the greatest theater around and one block from UCLA, opening weekend shows tend to sell out (especially the 10pm and Midnight shows) although not always – and that was at the old 1500 capacity before the new seats. Opening weekend (and frequently second weekend) crowds tend to be pretty rowdy but since it’s usually an action flick, that’s half the fun.
If you don’t know Westwood at all, go early for tickets, then wander around. LaMonica’s on Gayley is the best pizza in town (in my not-so-humble ex-New-Yorker opinion) and two doors down from that Penny Lane is a pretty good new & used record store. Plus next to the Bruin you’ve got Diddy Reese cookies – 25 cents each (no tax!) and they’re really really good.
OCK 03 Nov 96