Studio One Theaters: Boujee, Bold, and Better


By Graham Jones, Reporter

A keen eye will probably have noticed a new movie theater sitting in the plaza across from the Safeway on Powell. This cinema goes by the name Studio One Theaters. Studio One houses seven specially designed theaters as well as a bar and restaurant that present live performances. I had been interested in the theater for a while, wondering if it would stand up to the best multiplexes in the city such as the Hollywood and Living Room, so I went in with an excited curiosity. After spending two plus hours in the theater, I can say with complete certainty that I was given one of the craziest experiences I’ve had when seeing a movie.


Since all showtimes after 6 p.m. are for people ages 21 and up, I went to a midday screening. As soon as I entered, dark mood lighting met me, enhanced by TV screens displaying everything from sports games to normal movie posters. This is just the tip of  the detailed and magnificent atmosphere of the structure, as I soon learned that each screening room had its own setting and design.

As an employee guided me to my theater, he told me how each of their rooms had a specific look crafted to resemble a place in the world. For instance, my theater, which happened to be the largest, was made to look like a New York penthouse. This included a digital window presenting a city skyline and various “penthouse” items around the room. I was worried that they wouldn’t turn off many of the lights when the film started, but to my pleasure, they all faded away as soon as the trailers started.

The room had an array of choices for seating. Common armchairs and comfy recliners were available for singles, while couples wanting to enjoy a film had “intimate seating” options. For example, these areas had loungers and sofas almost like small beds that could hold at least two people. While almost every seat was different, every one of them was comfortable in its own way.

A bright light in the back of the room used to illuminate the exit stayed on during the film, which I felt was unnecessary. Another distraction was a small swaying clock on a desk near me. Other than those two nitpicks, I was pleased by everything else the atmosphere had to provide.   

Like any good theater, an assortment of drinks and concessions were open to purchase, as well as food since the cinema also housed a restaurant. After receiving lunch menus in the lobby, a very nice waiter came to take my order at my seat. The meals were much higher class than the average theater with items ranging from grass fed burgers to creative King salmon. Though they all looked fantastically tasty, I soon came to the realization of how expensive the food really was. The prices were nothing to appalling, but much higher than what I expected. I ordered a simple burger with fries, still a little taken aback by cost, but to my happy surprise, I found that the price matched the quality. Not only were the portions large with my burger stacked high next to a mound of fries, but everything tasted cooked to perfection. Not a single thing about it was wrong.

As the lights dimmed, I got in my most comfortable position for my movie watching experience. The projector flicked on and the trailers started to roll. The screen was not tremendously big, but not abundantly small — just being the right size. It also helped that since the room was slightly smaller than an ordinary theater, it felt as if the screen was bigger and closer without me having to crane my neck up to see it.

While the overall image quality was fine, I found that the colors on the screen seemed a bit darker than they should have been. The theater triumphed in its sound with noises jumping off the screen and enveloping the room in its fictional world. Overall, the movie watching experience reached an above average caliber.

Studio One theaters sound, look, and taste better than most cinemas. It’s sleek inside and creates a fancy yet casual ambience that almost anyone can enjoy. Other than a few minor issues, it was a relaxing event of movie magic.

My one major problem is that the website is a mess. It’s hard to find showtimes and buying tickets is complicated and confusing, especially if you have no previous background of the screening room layouts. That still doesn’t affect the actual theater, which is still excellent.

Sadly, the theater doesn’t seem to be very popular or well-known since when I visited, I was the only person there. So I beg you to please visit this place for your next big-screen experience, you won’t be disappointed.