AMC Movie Theater Review: Naperview, Illinois

Napierville AMC, IL
Yet another great AMC location!

Hey Peeple: as many of you know, I go to the movies quite a bit and there are three AMC Theaters I frequent. For this review, let me start with my AMC Showplace Naperville 16, because it’s my most frequented location in Illinois.

Of course, we at RunPee know you’re concerned about restrooms. The restrooms are conveniently located between the 16 screening rooms; there’s a good flow of traffic in and out, and they’re usually clean. I have not been inclined to inform management that the restrooms need attending,  but I will if necessary.

What’s great: 
I really love this theater because it’s a good size for the amount of people and crowds it receives. Parking is well-lit, plentiful, and free. This facility is situated as the back anchor of a two-sided shopping strip. The strip encompasses lots of restaurants, service facilities (e.g. cleaners, grocery store, UPS, salons), a bank, etc. The theater sits in the back of the shopping complex, which helps isolate the movie traffic from rubberneckers looking for a particular store. The facility is handicapped accessible, with ample seating for wheelchairs. This single floor location has plenty of exit doors and a central entrance. During the holiday season and summer months, the lines can be long, so plan accordingly by getting your tickets through the AMC app or the kiosks in the foyer.

The concessions menu contains a variety of great items; of course, a little expensive though. Warning: chicken tenders are made to order and take almost 7-10 minutes, but they are sooooo yummy.

The theater overall is clean and in good repair every time I’ve visited. The stadium seating is very good. The ambiance is nice and up to date. There’s also a small video arcade area. I really like the Dolby screening room; the sound is amazing! This location also offers any of the AMC promos, double features, and limited showing screenings. As a matter of fact, I’ve attended numerous Oscar Best Picture Events at this location. It’s so much fun spending 12 hours for two Saturdays watching incredible movies, in a clean facility, with a great event host supplied by the theater.

I’ve sponsored a free screening to 100 girls and women, and the layout of the lobby accommodated my event smoothly without disruption to the concessions or ticket area. Another thing I love about this theater is that the customer service desk is right in the middle of the lobby, at the ticket booth area for easy access to management.

How could this theater improve?
AMC Naperville could improve by ensuring all kiosks are working,  and there are ample staff at the counters (ticket and concessions). When there are large crowds, the manager should be visible to assist customers with issues or merely just to watch the flow of concession lines and hallway traffic, often  filled with unaccompanied teenagers.

Overall, this AMC is perfect for families, friends outings, and something to add between errands to just chill.

Movie Theater Grade: A-
Located:
2815 Show Place Drive, Naperville, Illinois 60564 (630) 303-5922 www.AMCTheatres.com

What to know more about DanaSimone!…?  Here are her personal links, describing her personal mission to make the world a better place for humanity: 

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A Very Harry Cruise – Hogwarts at Sea

Harry potter luxury cruise
A luxury Harry Potter cruise. It’s nicer than apparating.

I can’t put my jaw back in place. It dropped when I heard there was going to be a week-long luxury Harry Potter cruise. I want more information. Also, I want $4,000 to pay for this.

My dream Harry Potter cruise would have Hogwarts teachers, with classes in Defense Against The Dark Arts, Muggle Studies, Potions, and Caring for Magical Creatures. We’d play Quidditch above the pool. The last night would have a fancy formal Yule Ball. And I wouldn’t mind if a few actors from the movies made an appearance.

Ooh, and on the first night we could have a Sorting Hat ceremony-slash-feast! House Elves would make our beds and leave fantastic beast towels on our pillows. The shopping level would look like Diagon Alley; all meals would include Treacle Tarts and unlimited Butterbeer.

Honestly, I think this ship should hire me as a cruise director.  Like Julie McCoy from The Love Boat, except with magic.

 

MacGuffins Bars at AMC Theaters

If you’ve been to any AMC theater lately, you’ve probably noticed they serve booze now. The little bar areas near the entrance  come with the inside-joke name of MacGuffins (A MacGuffin is any plot device that motivates the characters and advances the story, be it a Ring of Power or a mysterious glowing suitcase). MacGuffins sounds like an Irish pub, but it’s really a clever movie pun.

These mini-bars serve not  just beer and wine, but full cocktails, some of which are created specifically for the movie franchise in question. [pullquote]AMC had the “Twig and Berries” drink for Deadpool 2 (and yes, it’s intended to recall exactly what dirty thoughts you’re thinking)[/pullquote]; two drink options when The Last Jedi came out — a blue Jedi drink vs a red Sith drink, each with tiny glowing lightsabers; a dino-themed bevvie when Jurassic World 2 was showing; a creepy cool Venom drink most recently; plus a ton of other interesting creations that I’m personally too broke to order.  🙂

None of the beverages are what you’d call a great deal. The draft beers offer the most bang for your $7-$9 bucks with full pours, and there seem to be about five taps, with one rotating seasonal option, and usually an Angry Orchard Cider to boot. The wines are kind of expensive for what you get, hovering between $7 to $14, depending on whether you get a half glass or a full. The specialty cocktails generally run around $13 and up. The prices do fluctuate in different cities. On an recent trip to Florida, I found I could get a super large brew for around $10, making it a better deal than two $7 beverages.

So, they’re not so cheap, and there’s no happy hour, but it’s nice during a long movie to be able to sip on something more grown-up than a soda. I’ve noticed that a typical-sized beer can be nursed through a three hour movie. Usually I’m too caught up in the film to remember there’s a drink handy. But I like having the option. [pullquote position=”right”]It still feels like a novelty. Remember the line in Pulp Fiction that you could get a real beer at the movies in Europe? Well, we have them now too.[/pullquote]

One nice thing about MacGuffins is they usually have a couple of stools at the bar, and often some bistro tables to sit at with friends. This is really nice if you’re early for a movie and waiting for it to start, or if you’re seeing more than one film and want a convivial place to hang. An extra plus: there’s usually no line to order, unlike the overcrowded, chaotic popcorn/hot dog/soda concession stands. It’s a much more peaceful affair.

I’ve been to an Edwards Theater recently, and there was no bar. [pullquote]I’m so used to those being around now that it seems weird to not have a MacGuffins at hand. When you think about it, it’s a little crazy for the other movie chains to miss out on that extra income.[/pullquote] I assume Regal, Harkins, and Edwards will probably follow suit from AMC’s example at some point. They’re just throwing easy money away if they don’t.

Anyway, of course, having beverages of ANY sort turns into a trial of holding your full bladder, to the point where you kind of want the characters to die and get over it — just so you can run to the bathroom and relax again. Seriously.

However, since there’s the faithful RunPee app, this is no longer a problem. Yeah, I’m going to plug RunPee here.

RunPee exists to service your bladder. The app (on both iPhone and Android phones) discretely vibrates when its to time go to the bathroom during all the wide release movies, every week and every year, and for the last ten years.

There’s usually between 2 to 4 “Peetimes” — depending on movie length — and the app provides a synopsis of what you’ve missed during the 3 to 5 minutes it takes to run out, do your business, and get back. There are Recommended Peetimes, Emergency Peetimes, and even Alert Peetimes (which warn you if there’s a unpleasant sort of scene coming up, like something featuring torture). The “Extra Scene” feature is very popular, telling you if you need to wait during the end credits or not.

In any case, [pullquote position=”right”]RunPee goes together very well with MacGuffin’s beers, wines, and cocktails. You can’t pause a movie, but now you don’t have to worry about when to go, or if you should just sit there in agony. [/pullquote] 🙂

I think a good idea for AMC’s next iteration would be an upscale barista counter. It would be nice to get a latte during an evening show.

Have you seen the MacGuffins bars? Do you think this is a good idea for movie theaters, and have you ever ordered anything?

[Photos owned by RunPee.com]

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Movie Theater Review – AMC Fashion Valley in San Diego

The RunPee App, Explained

RunPee’s Movie Selection Process

Best Movie MacGuffins Explained

Hip Indie Theater Review in Tijuana, Mexico – Cine Tonala

Three levels of food, brews, music, WIFI, film, and fun!

I sit here with delightful empanada pastries, and a nice menu in this three level establishment in downtown’s Cine Tonala — right on the ‘infamous’ Av. Revolucion in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. It’s a sneeze to walk across the main San Diego border, then a longish walk, cheap van-taxi, or short UBER ride from there, and feels safe as sandwiches (which you can order here). The WIFI is fast (ask for the password), and there are large laptop tables near power outlets. 

[pullquote]The Cinema Room also has FREE COLD AC – which on a hot, humid day like today, is a blessed relief. Eats, drinks, movies…cool air and good company — this is an unusually fine venue in old downtown TJ.  The toilets are for patrons only – so get a beer, a movie ticket, or at buy least a sweet.[/pullquote] Bathrooms are kept clean, stocked with free toilet paper — more precious in Mexico than gold (remember not to flush it. Baja sewage systems can’t handle that). 

The downstairs is open to the street, has a hip brick interior, craft beer on tap, and vintage posters adorning the walls, including stylized versions of Mexican and USA Presidents from JFK through Obama. Cine Tonala will even let you free-sample the craft brews. The tenders also create mixed cocktails, and play a good selection of music recognizable from the states. The music is set low, so you can hear your companion talk, creating a nice intimate setting. It’s a far cry from the thumping, thudding, ear-blasting dance clubs lining the rest of the way along Avenida Revolucion. (Which many young adults like. So loud. But, heck. It’s their ears. Now get off my lawn!)

The 2nd and 3rd floor funnels the cool outside breezes, with catwalks and balconies overlooking the human zoo below. Those levels opens at 3 pm and have what they call “Magic Hours” (Fri 5-7 pm…3×1 national beers): Happy Hour, to US speakers.

It’s a great little cinema house that clearly wants your business. I’m surprised they make a living, showing such a specialized fare of international limited release favorites and cult-classic Mex faves — but they attract a devoted crowd. I’m relieved. We need funky/creative places like this in the world. Sure I can stream such things on my own, but not in a fun crowd of fellow fans, with amazing beer options. GO THERE, OKAY?

Enough employees speak enough English to make this an Ex-Pat watering hole, movies aside, although the vintage, classic oldies and Indies films draw locals as well. The theater doesn’t look like much from the outside, but that’s par for the course in Tijuana. I felt safe enough running to the Damas (ladies) room with my laptop plugged in.

The employees at Cine Tonala gave me a peek into into the cinema room and offered me a free show. They play 3-4 films a day in cold AC. Nice. The chairs are vintage and a bit creaky, but have decently soft seats = good enough for  90 minute films.

There’s lots to read. Ask for the upcoming movie list, or peruse the  magazines, including brand new issues of American Cinematographer with fun covers (I saw one about the making of Avengers: Infinity War and another about Solo)They have a Facebook page too, where you can add your review — or post one in our comments below.

[US Dollars are accepted.]

Address: Av. Revolución 1317, Zona Centro, 22000 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
Hours: 1 pm — 2 am weekends, or til 10:30 pm weeknights
Phone: +52 664 688 0118

Movie Theater Review – AMC Fashion Valley in San Diego