With the summer movie season in full swing I’m sure a lot of us are spending more time at the theaters these days. That also probably means more encounters with those talkative moviegoers a few seats over, people texting in a dark theater which makes their phones look like spotlights, and the ever prevalent seat kicker sitting right behind you. Despite all that, there really is nothing like seeing a movie in a theater with like minded people (you all bought the same ticket didn’t you?). However, there are some movie experiences out there that are decidedly better than others. Here’s a short list of a few that we’d like to experience sometime in our lifetime. If anyone has some extra cash laying around . . .
TGV Cinema’s Beanieplex :: Penang, Malaysia
What It Is: Bean bag seats for the entire theater.
Why It’s Cool: Never in a million years would I have thought to put bean bag chairs into a movie theater. And, these aren’t like those retro bean bag chairs from the 70s/80s that you had in your college dorm room either, these are legitimate bean bag chairs. From the looks of things, the theater doesn’t seem to be too big (people 50 maybe?) so it’s not like they’re outfitting a huge 400 seat screen with bean bag chairs which makes having this type of theater feasible.
One potential downside, each “seat” in the Beanieplex is a double or twin which means it actually sits two people together. Great if you’re a couple or one person if you want to have space to stretch out. However, it may not be the best seating for people in large groups or two dudes who like to leave that seat open between them in the theater. Though comfortable I’m sure, I’d personally be worried about watching late night shows and falling asleep.
Price & Details:
- $11 (USD approx) for one twin seat–2 people
- Beanieplex only offered on select screens at 3 of TGV Cinemas 18 locations
reRun Gastropub Theater :: Brooklyn, New York
What It Is: An independent movie theater featuring 60 reclaimed car seats, a full bar and gourmet snack counter, and a twelve foot screen; a connected offshoot of the reBar gastropub.
Why It’s Cool: Maybe it’s the fact that these guys seem to play by their own rules and book small arthouse and independent fare, or maybe it’s having a full service bar right in the theater with you; or maybe it’s even the high end custom gastropub “concession” food (Fender Dogs with steak sausage; Mom & Pop’s Corn dosed with your choice of powders, butters, or fats; hand made Brooklyn pretzels; stuffed baked focaccia breads; and more) . . . or just maybe it’s the fact that you’re sitting on car seats that just makes this theater so damn cool.
I’d probably go there for the food alone, but the small intimate nature of the theater combined with its eclectic vision and feel definitely make it a unique experience. I mean really, we don’t have drive theaters anymore (here in Hawaii anyway), so when was the last time you sat in a car seat to watch a movie?
Price & Details:
- $10.50 per person in advance online
- free admission (with minimum $9 food/drink purchase inside theater) if you arrive more than 30 minutes before showtime
- Concession items range $5-8
- One feature weekly, only 1-2 showtimes in the evenings
- 21 & over only
Archipelago Cinema :: Ko Yao Noi Island, Thailand
What It Is: A floating theater built using recycled materials and local building techniques for the Film on the Rocks Yao Noi film festival and curated in part by actress/producer Tilda Swinton. From what I found, the “theater” was only a temporary structure designed specifically for the festival which just began this March (as in 2012). After the festival the designer stated that the floating event platform will be turned over to the local community to use for other events; until next year’s festival.
Why It’s Cool: Come on, it’s a theater in the middle of a lagoon! How much cooler can you get than that? I mean, I’ve heard some some pretty awesome open air theater experiences, but this one definitely has to take the cake. You have the open ocean, the night sky, and these amazing geological structures all adding ambiance to what could possibly be, given ideal conditions, quite possibly the greatest theater experience in the world.
I can only image the experience of floating on these rafts in the darkness of the lagoon watching a movie being projected into the night with the water and waves providing subtle motion to our seats. Definitely going to have to keep an eye on what this festival does next year.
Price & Details:
- Price N/A
- Festival ran March 9-12, 2012
- Website & Facebook
- More about the Archipelago Cinema from the designer