Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Best Town for Movies

It isn't LA. It isn't New York. From my point of view, it's Palm Springs. Why? The theaters. Perhaps it's because the mercury regularly hits 110+ during the summer and people spend a lot of time at the movies, but the theaters in Palm Springs are some of the most comfortable, best-equipped anywhere, and you can see an enormous range of films, from the latest blockbusters to independent -- even arty -- films.

The Regal in Palm Springs, on Tahquitz Canyon Way, has nine auditoria, all stadium seating, but the ones you want are numbers eight and nine, tucked in the back of the facility. These feature wide leather seats, with two armrests for each seat, plus a center row of tables for your popcorn and snacks. It's like a screening room. The Regal plays mainly mainstream films.

Then there's the Camelot, also in Palm Springs (on Baristo) which has a small restaurant tucked into it, where you can get decent sandwiches and soup and salad and carrot cake, etc. Upstairs is the lounge, where you can get a cocktail or glass of wine. And everything -- even the drinks -- are allowed in the theaters. The Camelot is run by a wealthy retired man who wants to create a great space for movies, and he programs mostly independent and art films. Now playing -- The Proposition, Boynton Beach Club, Beauty Academy of Kabul, Three Times -- plus they host several film festivals throughout the year.

Finally, there is the Palme d'Or, in Palm Desert. The facility is nothing special, but they have a great programmer, who brings in tons of independent films. Now playing -- Water, Akeelah and the Bee, La Petite Jerusalem, Duck Season, Friends With Money, Kinky Boots, Thank You for Smoking, The Sentinel, Art School Confidential, Keeping Up With the Steins, Wah-Wah.

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