If, as we love to say, New Orleans is the new “Hollywood South,” then that should make The Theaters at Canal Place the “it” theaters in the city. Having spent some time living among the celebrities and wanna-be celebrities back in “LaLa Land,” home of the original Hollywood, I became something of an expert moviegoer. Every time I would sit in traffic (which was daily) and stare at a poster for the latest movie plastered on a billboard, I would HAVE to see it. I frequented every theater chain – AMC, Pacific, and when my pocket book could afford it, ArcLight Cinemas (one of LA’s versions of a deluxe movie-going experience) – seeing one, sometimes two or three movies a week.
Then I moved to New Orleans. I was surprised how being beyond the grasp of Hollywood freed me from my movie theater addiction. Though celebrities and movie sets are no rarity in this burgeoning Hollywood South, the movie culture and drive to go to the theater that has long swept LA is missing.
However, one place in the city where the movie theater fiend inside me feels right at home is The Theaters at Canal Place. Though ticket prices are a little high, they are comparable to what you would pay for at ArcLight Cinemas back in Hollywood, yet ArcLight does not offer the seamless in-seat dining and movie experience of The Theaters. Moreover, the food prices are not so expensive compared to what you would pay for a not-so-expertly-prepared hot dog or nachos at a regular theater.
Renowned chef Aldofo Garcia has prepared a Mediterranean-inspired menu of satisfying meals and snacks that are easy to share and feel like they are made for movies. The assortment of gourmet popcorns (the white truffle is a must try) alone are worth the visit. As an added bonus they serve you drinks. Not just sodas either, but fine wines and beers and crafted cocktails. If in-seat cocktail delivery doesn’t scream Hollywood South, I don’t know what does.
The Theater’s comfortable, deluxe seats and in-theater dining experience is sure to tickle any movie lover pink, and they also provide access to a number of independent and artsy flicks that are not shown in many theaters in New Orleans. For a small premium, The Theaters provide a movie experience unlike any other. So next time you are wavering on the fence of paying the added cost, consider this: How much would you pay for a dinner date for two? And can you really put a price on the experience of movies, dinner, and drinks seamlessly packaged for your viewing and tasting pleasure? This author thinks not, but you be the judge. Enjoy and happy movie watching!
Brianna Smyk has an M.A in Art History from San Diego State University. She lives and works in New Orleans and writes about arts and culture for NolaVie. Read more of Brianna’s articles at www.beingbreezie.tumblr.com.