Ed Bedford 12:18 p.m., May 22
Regarding my cover story on San Diego's Ten Best Movie Theatres, Ken Harrison writes:
"OMG! How could writer Scott Marks miss Encinitas’s iconic La Paloma Theatre in his top ten picks of local theaters? His number one pick, Reading Cinemas Gaslamp #1, bestows the glamor of a re-created “stylish touch of ’20s art deco.” Opened in 1928, the La Paloma has its original art deco decor.
The projectionist is probably the last guy in town that can still switch a film reel at its cue from one projector to another without anyone in the audience missing a frame or line of dialogue. And with a large screen sitting atop a real wooden stage, no other movie house comes close to 'maintaining the magic of the movies.'"
I have visited the La Paloma Theatre but once in my life for a 35mm revival of Big Wednesday. While it is a lovely venue, I find it hard to recommend a movie theatre that barely shows movies. The only film they screen with any regularity is The Rocky Horror Picture Show (on DVD) at midnight on the weekends. I just checked their website and they are currently showing the documentary Marley, so maybe there is a chance that they are one again showing films on a regular basis. Their site has been bookmarked and I will report back if they are indeed operating as a second-run art house.
Dave Kealoha writes:
I’m just wondering how you guys could’ve possible missed the Cinepolis at Del Mar Highlands as one of the ten best movie theaters in San Diego?
It’s an awesome experience! They serve you food and alcohol there. There’s only a few seats for each theater — you can totally lay back and watch the movie. It’s the most awesome movie experience I’ve been to in my whole life. That you guys didn’t mention it is crazy.
Cinepolis didn't make the cut for the exact reasons you heap praise on it. I visited Cinepolis once and never want to repeat the experience of noisy waitresses delivering over-priced bar food and busboys clearing tables in mid-movie.
As for booze, I have always been a firm believer that cinema and public intoxication don't mix. Given the theatre's living room environment, I'd much rather pop open a Blatz, toss a frozen DiGiorno in the oven, and watch a movie in my home theatre.