Saturday, June 02, 2007

A New But Familiar Kind of Theater Experience

With its 12-screen flagship which opened Friday at the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, Landmark Theaters is clearly hoping to lure customers from the ArcLight, the Bridge and other upscale competitors. The complex offers reserved seats and the chance to bring your glass of wine with you in to the new Sofia Coppola or George Clooney movie.

But it is also designed to compete directly with your living room — with your sofa, your flat screen and your ability to pause, rewind, turn on the lights or just give up on the movie idea altogether and switch over to "The Daily Show."

As if to acknowledge how tough it's becoming to drag people out of their houses for a night at the movies, with home-theater technology getting better and traffic getting worse, the Landmark includes a number of domestic architectural touches. The most striking are three "Living Room" theaters on the top floor that hold between 30 and 50 people each. They include sofas and side tables as well as overstuffed love seats and ottomans by the high-end French furniture company Ligne Roset.

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