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FLICKS FILM AND VIDEO NOTES : Reel News : A new cinema opens in Agoura Hills, 'The Two Jakes' opens in Ventura and a real theater review.

August 09, 1990|LEO SMITH

If four Mann theaters aren't quite enough, don't panic. The company will be opening another complex just south of the county line. An eight-plex cinema in Agoura Hills is expected to begin operation by the end of the month. It will be located on Kanan Road.

Jack Nicholson's movie "The Two Jakes" opens Friday, and if any Ventura City Hall employees go to see it, they'll be seeing it for the first time. Although the film was partially shot at City Hall, apparently no one working there was invited to preview it.

This follows the controversial filming itself--which included Nicholson initially refusing a key to the city and then-mayor James Monahan having second thoughts about allowing another film crew to take over City Hall because of the disruption it caused.

Carol Green, assistant to the city manager, said no filming is planned for the future, but there have been several inquiries.

Reviews of movies are everywhere. Reviews of movie theaters are not.

But think about it: Is a great film still great when seen over a box of popcorn drowning in sludge? When you watch an Al Pacino performance from a seat with springs popping out, are you being moved in the way you'd want to be? These issues become all the more important when you consider that a movie such as "Die Hard 2" is playing in three theaters in the same county. Where exactly would you rather go see it, proximity notwithstanding?

So, here it is, the first in a series of consumer guides to the theaters of Ventura County. First up by luck of the draw--the Carriage Square Theatre on West Gonzales Road in Oxnard. The movie: "Die Hard 2," of course.

Food: All the usual candy, plus hot dogs, ice cream (Haagen-Dazs and Bon Bons), cookies, soft drinks and popcorn. The hot dog was a tad on the salty side, but it was big enough to curb a mild hunger. The popcorn was no better than fair. Warning: We went to the first show on a weekday and asked for buttered popcorn and a hot dog. The butter wasn't ready before the first show and, though some could be seen rotating on the grill, neither were the dogs. We grabbed one on the way out.

Restroom: So clean that during a bad movie we'd be tempted to just hang out in it. The whole room is painted in bright yellow, a little too bright, maybe, but it'll sure force the eyes to adjust quickly after the film. Only one little bit of graffiti. Plenty of soap in the liquid soap dispensers, but that's probably because it takes a load of patience to get any out.

Pre-movie Muzak: On this day, strictly the '70s, highlighted by "The Hustle" and "Killing me Softly."

Pre-movie ads: One

Previews: Two

Seats: Quite comfortable and firm. None of that mushy stuff that keeps chiropractors in business. Best feature--the wide, plastic arm rests with built-in cup holders.

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