Our beloved Humboldt movies theaters have taken entertainment to a new level. With the trend of dine-in (and drink-in) luxury cinemas beginning to spread across the nation, Arcata’s landmark theater are getting on that bus.
I went to see a movie with family members while in Los Angeles this past summer. This was not your average movie theater with butter slathered popcorn, hot dogs, and candy. No. It was a full fledged dining and drinking entrainment experience. We ordered margaritas and a huge chef-created grilled chicken salad, all while watching Finding Dori on the big screen. Aiming to position themselves as “luxury theaters”, many traditional movie theater chains are beginning to offer gourmet menus and full bars as a way to enhance the movie-going experience. While I was still blown away by the fantastic offerings of this luxury theater in the big city, it was not an idea all too foreign to me, as we have these same offerings available in my little college town of Arcata in Northern California, only with a more interesting twist.
Humboldt Movie theaters are also taking things to the next level with great food and drink options, however they are doing so in a super unique way. Two theaters in Arcata, California not only offer these amenities, they also offer a rich piece of history that is unparalleled by the newly constructed mega cinemas of major metropolises.
Arcata’s Minor Theater, first established in 1914, is actually the oldest building in the entire United States designed for feature films. Having had its share of ups and downs throughout the past 100+ years, being closed and reopened several times, renovated and leased to a major theater chain, and closed again in early 2016, the Minor Theater is now once again locally owned and operated and has made a fantastic comeback.
With new projection equipment, a new sound system, new screens, larger, more comfortable seating, as well as a menu that includes locally crafted cuisine with vegan /vegetarian options, (and don’t forget beer and wine to go with) America’s oldest theater has definitely underwent a major facelift, yet it still maintains much of it original charm. Having just reopened on Friday, September 16th of 2016, the Minor has been off to a great start, once again becoming the staple choice amongst Humboldt movie theaters.
When in Arcata, CA you can now catch eclectic films, including foreign, indie and cult classics at this iconic theater, but the fun doesn’t just stop there….
The Arcata Theater Lounge is another of the Humboldt movie theaters serving up a similar cine experience…
Located just around the block from the Minor is the ATL. This 1938 Art Deco Cinema that has been reborn as an entertainment venue offering the best in live music, movies, dining, dancing, as well as private events. Arcata Theatre Lounge has one of the largest cinema screens in Northern California and also boasts a full bar and pub-style menu. Featuring dinner style seating with tables and chairs, this non-traditional theater allows guests to kick back and enjoy a full meal while they watch the show.
First constructed in 1937, the ATL is still alive and thriving having been voted as the Best Humboldt County Music Venue for four years straight. So when you are looking for an evening out on the town, the ATL and The Minor Theater both offer casual, fun and unique entertainment options.
These two Humboldt movie theaters have completely transformed going out to the movies in Arcata and have added even more charm to a already super sweet little town.