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The Ken
4061 Adams Avenue, Kensington
(619) 283-5909

Hard to single out a movie theater when they are more and more alike. A Frankensteinian composite has potential as a parlor game: the marquee, perhaps, of the Pacific Gaslamp, the staircase of the UA Horton Plaza, the snackbar of the Hillcrest (cookies by Bread and Cie, teas by Tazo), the restrooms of the AMC Fashion Valley, the seats of the AMC La Jolla, the sightlines of any of the new "stadium" (or med-school) auditoriums, topped off with the twinkling ceiling above the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theater at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The recently renovated single-screen Star in Oceanside afforded a last glance into the Good Old Days of the "palace," but then the closing of it at summer's end took that away again. Still, the one theater -- more dungeon than palace -- that actually has seen the best old days, the one that has seen the greatest number of great movies pass across its screen, is without question the quinquagenarian Ken. And what do you really want from a theater anyway? Digital sound system, armrest cupholders, self-flush toilets? -- or ghosts?

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