For a town that celebrates film once a year and has so many filmmakers and creators, where is the love for our movie theaters? Sure we have the historic Arlington, which is a marvel to look at, although very uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time. And stadium seating barely exist, unless you count Camino Real, which I don’t.
There’s no dine-in experience or spacious lounge chairs, and forget searching for any IMAX experience. Unless of course you’re going to a private theater in a Montecito home, which probably has newer and better equipment.
If I can recall, the latest and greatest “innovation” we had to our movie theaters in years was the addition of alcohol service. Which isn’t a new thing, just well overdue. And maybe some architectural renovations, but no update to the chairs or seating.
I get the Arlington is a museum piece, something to marvel over. But beyond the first impressions and tourism, I wouldn’t be surprised if most moviegoers attend our theaters simply for the convenience, and lack of choice.
After all it’s a long, often traffic-riddled drive (through the two lanes of hell on the 101 south out of Santa Barbara) to better theaters, but sometimes it’s worth it.