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Arts and Entertainment

We Checked Out The ArcLight's First Theater On The Westside

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The ArcLight Hollywood has long billed itself as the premier spot for moviegoing in Los Angeles, and we are inclined to agree—we named it one of our favorite movie theaters in L.A. However, Westsiders were long left without an ArcLight of their own, having to make the arduous drive into Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, or the South Bay to see the latest blockbuster in their luxury.Their first location in the Westside—taking over the old Culver City Pacific Theater building—opened at the beginning of May, and ArcLight was kind enough to invite LAist to get the ArcLight Culver City experience with a screening of Entourage.

Anybody who has been to the ArcLight Hollywood will find the settings quite familiar, if scaled down. Once you walk in, you'll be greeted by the ArcLight chain's signature departure board and clock that displays all the movie showtimes. The massive open space of the lobby has both a bar and a concession stand, both with the same menu that can be found at the other ArcLights. The one advantage this theater (along with a few other locations) have over the Hollywood mothership? You can bring your adult beverage into any movie screening.

Special cocktail menus are created for every event movie, and since we'd be watching the Entourage movie that night, my friend and I enjoyed the "Johnny's Drama"—an Old Fashioned with Johnnie Walker Black, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, and chocolate chili bitters. The bar's food offerings, a little more on the higher end than what's at the concession stands, were all surprisingly tasty bar fare. I was quite fond of the ahi tuna poke, and the chicken wings with sweet Thai chili sauce were the right balance of sweet and spicy. If you're feeling even classier (and when you're seeing Entourage, who isn't?), there's even a charcuterie board with prosciutto and three cheeses and bruschetta with heirloom cherry tomatoes. The kitchen even makes it a point to get locally sourced ingredients for the food.As for food you can actually take into the movie, the usual ArcLight offerings are all there, including the caramel popcorn and their signature sausage baguette. No nachos, since those disturb everyone else enjoying the movie. Have those at a ballgame instead. And while the ArcLight has been the trendsetter for movie theater luxuries over the last decade—they claim to be the first chain to have assigned seating—you still have to bring in your food yourself, since they won't have servers bringing in your pizza in the middle of the movie and ruining the experience for everyone around you.

The ArcLight is not done expanding their luxury theater experience yet. This fall they'll be opening one at Santa Monica Place, and soon enough you'll be able to drink at every screening in the ArcLight Hollywood.