Sundance Cinemas is bringing rustic elegance and comfort to the American independent and foreign language movie-going experience in Los Angeles.
At a media preview Tuesday, Patch observed a palette of earthy colors, the smell of wood [perhaps related to construction] and plush leather furniture among the elements that help accomplish Sundance's movie-going vision.
Bringing the theater to the complex at 8000 Sunset Boulevard wasn't easy, said Paul Richardson, president and CEO of Sundance Cinemas. But he knew that he would "do whatever possible to make it happen."
He described the 18-month negotiation as a tortuous process. Initially, the landlord wanted a restaurant in the space, he said.
Once the deal went through, Richardson said, another challenge was converting the space into a Sundance experience.
For instance, he said the lobby looked like a "glorified hallway," which needed to feel friendlier.
To create space, designers reconfigured the theater seating to make room for cozy alcoves in the lobby.
Crews also converted a management office into a second-level lounge furnished with Sundance Catalog furniture, an ideal space for socializing and noshing before or after a movie.
The reconfiguration inside the theaters also allowed for cushy chair rockers and small tables between seats. Sundance pared down the number of seats from 1,000 to 682.
Due to the availibilty of beer and wine, there will be movie screenings limited to audiences 21 and older so that beverages can be enjoyed inside the theater. Food options will include pizza, paninis and other "nosh-like" items.
Other features of the theater will include reserved seating, an art gallery and an outdoor patio.
A three-day grand opening celebration, which benefits local nonprofit organizations, is planned for the last week of August. Each night the movie line-up will be a surprise.
- Monday, Aug. 27 - "A Celebration of Film: Sundance Institute."
- Tuesday, Aug. 28 - "Filmmakers and the Community: Outfest"
- Wednesday, Aug. 29 - "Sand Rocks & Sea: Heal the Bay A Night to Benefit Rivers, Beaches and Oceans"
The theater will officially open its doors to the public on Aug. 31.
Regular adult admission is $12; admission for a matinee show is $11. Seniors pay $10 for matinee and evening shows. Children's admission is $9. There is an additional "amenity fee" charge.
Nancy Gribler, Sundance Cinema's executive vice-president of marketing, said the amenity charge allows for the convenience of providing reserved seating for guests and allows the theater to operate without showing commercials before a movie. The amenity fee chart is as follows:Show Mon-Thurs. Fri.-Sat. Sun. No. 1 - 12 p.m. None $1 $1.50 No. 2 - 2 p.m. $1 $1.50 $2 No. 3 - 5 p.m. $1.50 $2 $2 No. 4 - 7 p.m. $2 $3 $2 No. 5 - 9 p.m. $1.50 $3 $1.50
The box office will open 15 minutes before the first show time each day. Tickets will also be available online at sundancecinemas.com. Free validated parking includes three hours inside the 8000 Sunset Center.
Sundance Sunset Cinemas is located at 8000 Sunset Boulevard at Crescent Heights Boulevard.