Just for old time's sake--and because there's a new theater in town--I figured I'd do another theater review. It's been a while since the last one, but I had no trouble finding the restroom, the concession counter or my seat.
So here, then, is a review of the Edwards Cinemas multiplex in Mountain Gate Plaza at Los Angeles Avenue and First Street in Simi Valley.
Food: When they say HOT dog, they mean it--thanks to the microwave oven the guy behind the counter heated it up in. Unfortunately, he nuked the hot dog bun too, making it rubbery. I ate about half of the hot dog, which was much too salty, and washed it down with some fresh, tasty popcorn.
Restroom: Very blue and very clean. The men's room had one distinguishing characteristic--the lowest soap dispensers I've ever seen, with barely room enough for one's hand between them and the counter.
Theater: High ceiling and air-conditioning make the theaters quite comfortable. The seats come equipped with wide wooden arm rests that feature a beverage cup hole.
Technical quality: Giving the theater the benefit of the doubt, let's assume that the start-up problem in the the projection booth was an aberration. The film was about an eighth of a frame off throughout most of the credits. Once straightened out, though, everything was fine.
Sound quality: Loud and clear.
Pre-movie ads: Zero.
Suggestion: Arrive early on the weekends so you have time to look for parking. Remember that the theater is located in the middle of a shopping center and spaces close to the theater are limited.
Cast and crew members of "Love Stinks," starring Andrew McCarthy and Kelly Preston, just spent three weeks filming at the Mandalay Beach Resort in Oxnard. And Bob Dupres, the hotel's general manager, was pretty excited about the publicity.
"They're using the hotel as the destination in the movie. We're looking to that to really put us on the map next year," he said. "It's depicted as a Mexican resort island."
With a crew of 80 and as many as 100 extras, the hotel staff was kept pretty busy, particularly executive chef Jose Nunez, who handled the catering. On the plus side, Nunez and other employees and guests made cameo appearances in the film.
Next up for the Mandalay is an NBC movie-of-the-week "Change of Heart," starring Leslie Nielsen and Betty White. Filming is set to begin in about three weeks.
More on the Ventura County film/TV scene: A film crew just wrapped up a two-day stay in Santa Paula, shooting some scenes for a movie-of-the-week version of "The Babe Ruth Story," expected to air on NBC this fall. The crew spent some time at the Santa Paula Depot and then, for a night scene, filmed inside a tent set up a little way down the tracks.