In search of the springs
(Or simply embarrass them?) Head toward Fiesta Plaza in the Springs and take a spin by Sonoma Cinemas. If they’re not inside, glance around the parking lot, one of the favorite see-and-be-seen spots for Sonoma Valley tweens.
Better yet, go inside and treat yourself to a fine slice of celluloid, whether it’s a special effects spectacular or a caustic indie flick. Cupped by plush new stadium seating, you can examine every tar-coated bristle of Daniel Day Lewis’ mustache in unobstructed bliss.
The well-used Sonoma Cinemas, which first opened its doors in 1994, is finally undergoing a much-needed upgrade. Owned by Petaluma-based Cinema West, the playhouse is one of 13 movie theaters spread out in mainly smaller markets from Sebastopol to Cloverdale.
Construction is conducted during the day when movies aren’t showing. “Most patrons won’t see the remodel at all,” owner Dave Corkill says. In addition to the stadium seating, state-of-the-art digital projectors have been installed in the five theaters. (At $100,000 each, they’re also part of a new-fangled system that can download whole movies via satellite.) Retrofitting and natty new décor round out the extensive remodel. “We also have an application in to enlarge the lobby,” adds Dave.
Going beyond basic blockbusters, Sonoma Cinemas’ new menu offers a more cultured mélange of films than it ever has before, including smaller indies, contemplative chick flicks and Oscar fodder.
“Attendance is up, double what it was a year ago,” Dave says. A fun feature of the new digital projectors—the capacity for 3-D films. This summer the theater will show live concerts in 3-D featuring celebrities like Hannah Montana and U2 as well as performances by the San Francisco Opera.
Go to www.cinemawest.com for more information.
From the Spring 2008 issue of SONOMA