As someone who frequented the Landmark Westside Pavilion Theatres only under extreme duress, I am pleased to report the new and improved Landmark West Los Angeles is leaps and bounds ahead of the old multiplex.

The newly refurbished Landmark, now considered the national flagship venue – the chain spent $20 million building 12 screens with a total of 2,000 seats – is making a valiant attempt to lure and captivate adult audiences. This idea flies in the face of more conventional wisdom, which holds that the big money in film comes from 13-year-old boys and summer blockbusters.

What does “adult” translate to? Well to start, mostly art house films like the divine Crazy Love and a restored print of the classic Dr. Strangelove. Other perks include stadium seating with assigned seats and nifty living room theaters that feel like personal screening rooms with couches, ottomans and even end tables. This cozy set-up was perhaps the most comfortable movie watching experience of my life.

Tweaking yet another part of the cinemagoer’s experience, the Landmark’s revamped concession stand successfully updates and improves on the usual fare of popcorn and soda. Though still represented, the classics have been amended with unique treats like frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and delicious La Brea Bakery pretzels. A great selection of exotic candies and sodas fill the front display cases, and not only does coffee make a much desired appearance, but the coffee comes from Peet’s and can even be had in the form of a mocha latte. (Specialty coffee with its already high prices seems like a natural fit for adult filmgoers.)

I decided to compare this newfangled experience to a more traditional venue: Laemmle’s Royal. Still an art house theater, the Royal touts just one screen with 600 seats. While lacking the breadth of choice at the Landmark, the Royal’s concession stand departs from the absolutely conventional with items like Häagen-Dazs ice cream.

Watching La Vie en Rose with a large audience and a huge screen definitely provides a more cinematic experience in the usual sense of getting lost in the film. To me, nothing really beats the engulfing quality of size, and you can’t really cheat that.

The crowd, rapt and engaged, cried as Edith Piaf sang and stumbled her way through life. I still like the collective feeling of being a part of a group, especially for films that have an epic or luminous quality.

On the other hand, watching a documentary like Crazy Love in the novelty of a relaxing environment was great fun. As a person who still loves going out to see a movie, I appreciated both experiences and am grateful to be able to do both.

The Landmark is located at 10850 W. Pico Blvd. in West Los Angeles. For information, call (310) 470-0492 or visit Laemmle’s Royal is located at 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles. For information, call (310) 477-5581 or visit