Three shades of cinema
Top movie theaters in Buffalo are must-visits for students
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 01:10
There are theaters all over Buffalo geared toward different breeds of moviegoers. In addition to a host of mainstream options for big blockbuster releases in shopping malls or sprawling Amherst plazas, there are also lesser-known, alternative options for students interested in film genres that range from popular independent films to obscure foreign productions. There is something for everyone in Buffalo, and students can afford tickets for most shows at a reasonable price.
Here are three standout theaters for any film fanatic:
What: AMC Maple Ridge 8
Where: 4276 Maple Road, Amherst
Movie Ticket Price: $6.75 regular adult / $9.75 RealD-3D adult
Why it’s so great:
Only a five-minute drive or 30-minute walk from North Campus, the newly renovated AMC Maple Ridge 8 is the best place to see the latest blockbuster. The cinema was recently renovated and now includes reclining leather chairs in all of its theaters. One may think this change would have caused AMC to increase prices, but the cost to see a movie and enjoy concessions hasn’t changed.
What has changed is the way you purchase a ticket. There is a reservation process in which patrons must pick a seat in the movie theater either online prior to showing up or on a computer screen at the theater. There are 58 seats per theater to choose from, including four handicap-accessible seats.
Chris Iafrati, a junior exercise science major, said the seats are big enough to avoid the “awkward moment of deciding who gets the arm rest.”
“[AMC Maple Ridge 8 is] baller as hell and doing it right,” he said.
He recommends students, whether they live on North or South Campus, “go there and experience it for yourself.”
What: Amherst Dipson Theatre
Where: 3500 Main St., Buffalo
Movie Ticket Price: $7 on “Bargain Tuesdays” / $9.50 regular adult
Why it’s so great:
Located on Main Street across from South Campus, this movie theater is known for showing less-marketed-but-in-demand films like Enough Said and hosting events for alternative movie lovers. Dipson partners with organizations like the Albright-Knox and the Royal Shakespeare Company to present various documentaries and film screenings like Herb & Dorothy 50x50 and Richard II,respectively.
“We pick our films very selectively,” said Mike Clement, a spokesperson and manager of the theater. “For the most part, we play ‘art and independent’ films that cater to a particular audience. Many of the movies we do show will not be screened in the local commercial theaters.”
The theater also hosts events like Acquire the Fire: Surge on Oct. 9 and 16 for $12.50. The event is a “high-energy interactive movie theater event that fuses music, comedy, and inspirational messages creating a moment where young people and those who believe in them fill theaters across North America,” according to the theater’s website.
Every Tuesday is “Bargain Tuesday,” in which tickets are reduced to $7 and popcorn is sold at half price.
What: North Park Art Cinema
Where: 1428 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
Movie Ticket Price: N/A
Why it’s so great:
Although this gem, which is still around from the 1920s, is currently closed, the North Park Art Cinema won’t stay dark forever. A film was last shown there, before Dipson ended its contract with owner Thomas J. Eoannou, on June 6, but Eoannou, a Buffalo attorney, is working to keep the theater open. He said, “It would be shameful to mothball it. It’s just a beautiful place,” according to an article in The Buffalo News.
In the single-screen theater’s glory days, its red, velvet walls held 850 people who all faced a movie screen surrounded by a gold curtain on both sides, according to an In Focus interview with Eoannou.
Eoannou is part of a group working to keep the theater open, hoping to provide live entertainment in addition to movies.
“Our group has made a huge investment into a state-of-the-art digital projection system, extensive architectural rehabilitation, and a few key surprises,” the group’s mission statement says on northparktheater.org. “Our ultimate goal is for the North Park to become a living theater, one that is engaged in the local community and can swiftly respond to the needs of its audience.”
According to yelp.com, the North Park Theater will be reopening on Oct. 18, but that date has not been confirmed on northparktheater.org.
Eric Culver contributed reporting to this story.