|Related:||bowlero buffalo grove|
|Address:||430 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA|
I reviewed the Guild Theater in Menlo Park recently and I have similar nostalgic feelings for what is now known as the Aquarius Theater, on Emerson Street in Palo Alto. This charming, run-down theater has been an institution in Palo Alto for decades. Its a theater with two sides, showing at least two films all the time but, astonishingly, on some weekends, managing the gymnastic feat of showing six films on some sort of rotating basis whose logic only the management has mastered. These theaters are beloved, not because of any comfy factor one could identify, certainly not because of mainstream blockbuster movies which make their way there. There is no comfort. There are no blockbusters. The Aquarius shows only first-rate independent and foreign films which appeal to a certain type of educated audience which appreciates films which are challenging, thoughtful, ambiguous and complex. Sometimes segments of the audience will gather in front after the film to discuss its themes, its merits, its undercurrents and assumptions, and to compare the film to other work by the same director or the same cinematographer. Aquarius filmgoers take their films seriously but have joyous times discussing them. And, again like the Guild Theater in Menlo Park, the popcorn is outstanding. And -- I say this out of pure love -- one could visit either theater and count it as an anthropological field trip.
I have been to the Aquarius twice now and had a negative experience on both occasions related solely to the theater. While I did not enjoy the films played at those times either, I intend to critique only the merits of the theater since film choice is subjective. I have three primary reasons for this rating: 1) Bad sound quality – The first film I saw, The Third Man, was near incomprehensible due to the muddy audio. While I feel this may be due to the substantial age of the film, I had similar problems when viewing a new release at my second attendance. I’m not sure if this is due to the acoustics, the sound system quality, or both. Regardless, it breaks immersion and enjoyment. 2) Artificial and Drab –The theater decor is minimal and lacks identity, charm, and character. Tickets are purchased from a kiosk and the seat choice operation seems unnecessary. It seems very removed from the idea of an intimate or homey cinematic experience. Some words I would use to describe this theater are grey. Inauthentic. Plastic. 3) Overpriced – It’s too expensive for this caliber of experience. I highly recommend supporting The Guild if its still open at the time of this review or another established theater.
Definitely more on the retro side, but I enjoyed the small, older movie theater experience. The seats arent particularly comfortable and the screen is small, but I think if you are looking to watch something a little out of the ordinary, this is a great place to go. I came here for a movie screening and my group had rented out the theater so that was an absolute blast. The staff was very friendly even though it was probably a little overwhelming with all of us there! Overall, Im a fan! Great location for the theater as well. Super walkable.
The theatres and screens are small, but super comfy with reclining seats and a massive amount of space between aisles (the most Ive ever seen). Its a really nice place to watch a movie. One odd little thing that I liked is their popcorn bags are compostable but oil and butter dont soak through them. A drawback with this theatre is parking if you go during the day. The most convenient lot right next door has a two hour limit, which is hard to fit a movie into.
I ordered my tickets ahead of time and in the email it said I could bypass the box office. The ticket usher then proceeded to tell me that I did need to print my tickets and over-explain why I needed to do so. The theater is small and charming with large comfortable seats, but the chairs do recline a little too much for my liking.
We saw The Grand Budapest hotel here when it was out. Its a small theater, but they play the artsy films I like. They have a small concession stand. Good price for a matinee and definitely doesnt feel like a chain theater assembly line experience. There are several parking lots within a couple of blocks.
I had to get a replacement for a ticket for the National Theater shows. The manager had to hunt through his past receipts to find hen I had bought the ticket and he did it with patience, grace and great good humor. What a nice guy!
$9.50 for students is the way to go if you still have a local student ID on hand :) Jake was extra accommodating to a packed theater on Saturday night and again on the following Thursday when we had the whole theater to ourselives!
Very posh look and friendly staff. Great movies and amazing seats (at least on side one-->think super awesome leather recliners). Reasonably priced for the area, especially if you get a matinee or discount rate ($9.50).
Lovely theater, clean,sleek, modern. Updated two years ago, seats are comfy. Nice menu, had the southwestern spring rolls, something different, popcorn fair, not enough salt even for me, but ok. Bathrooms clean too.
My favorite cinema: plays two titles at a time, great movies selection, perfect location in downtown Palo Alto, and comfortable seats where you can just like down and chill :).
Was pleasantly surprised with how nice this local theater was! Really comfortable seats for very reasonable prices compared to how much most theaters cost now days.
Great little theatre with friendly staff that walk you to your seat. Chairs were comfy and a Saturday afternoon showing of Only Yesterday wasnt crowded at all.
Cozy, reclining leather chairs, selectable seat location, usher to purchased seats, absolutely the BEST tasting popcorn in any movie theaters in the Bay Area.
This quaint little theatre shows some very good indie movies and classics. Ive always had an enjoyable movie watching experience here
Small theatre, but seats are recliners and very comfortable. Good place to watch foreign movies, if you want something non Hollywood.
Tiny theatres but a fun spot. Looking forward to when they begin serving beer and wine (they told us that was coming soon)
A great local theater with some interesting movies. Good for people living nearby for a nice evening of entertainment.
Amazing theater with a good selection of independent and international movies, and super comfortable seats. I love it!
So cozy, so small, old time solo screen cinema hall. Loved it. What else can I say? Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia.
Such a funky little art house theater! Doesnt show many movies, but the experience there is quite unique!
Jordan Boone Bernstein
Awesome place to go see that movie your cousin made and keeps sending you the youtube link to
A Private User
Beautiful movies, wonderful setting, everything an independent movie theater should be.
The seats are soft love it when i went too see the movie hunt for the wilderpeople
Great independent movie theater (Landmark) with excellent movie offerings.
Nice small independent theatre experience. Good food and drink options.
Love how they support indie films and the movie halls are quite unique
Very Clean. COSSEY close To Snack Bar And Entry-level Nice Staff.
Super-deluxe seats. Discounted tickets for weekday daytime shows.
Great indie theater located in the heart of downtown palo alto