Kent 6 Cinemas

10116 SE 256th Street,
Kent, WA 98030

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ArthurAllen on June 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

The building still stands, exterior redecorated, as an extension of Kent-Meridian High School. By the way, they did redecorate in emerald green wall curtains before being closed. They added stereo, which they cranked up past distortion as if it was a THX installation. It wasn’t.

markinthedark on August 21, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Anyone know if this fleatrap is still standing?

Davidfox on April 14, 2007 at 8:13 pm

Regal sold the Kent 6 to the Kent School District about five years ago. I presume it has been torn down. Regal then abandoned the Kent market, even though the area was/is growing rapidly. AMC came in and built a 14plex in the heart of a revitalized core business area. Real is really hard to figure out…

markinthedark on February 22, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Dan, I have seen pictures of the Eastgate on Cinematour and my mouth waters. What a shame it is now closed.

Regarding the Coliseum, I was surprised by the 70mm Dune showing. I wonder how the sound was, being that it seemed that all 35mm presentations there were mono. (or at least never advertised as stereo). Did they only have stereo when it was 6-Track Magnetic? The Coliseum also had the exclusive 70mm showing of Clan of the Cave Bear. I never had a chance to go to the Coliseum but always wanted to (more for curiousity factor and the fact that it was an old palace). It pains me that it is a Banana Republic now.

One unfortunate thing back in the 80’s when I was a teen was that films in the Seattle Area were usually booked almost exclusively with one chain or another. So, if that chain was Luxury Theatres, you almost had no choice unless you wanted to go for a long drive. An example would be the Bond films “Octopussy” in 1983 and “Living Daylights” in 1987. Both were almost exclusive Luxury Theatre bookings, so if you wanted to hear the films in Dolby Stereo, forget it! Luckily we had no Luxury Theatres in Tacoma and I was able to see “Octopussy” on the giant Temple Theatre screen in Dolby and “The Living Daylights” at SRO’s Tacoma South in Dolby.

BTW I saw the only other Western Washington 70mm “Dune” presenation, a second run showing for $2 at the Temple Theatre in Tacoma. The presenation there was rather impressive.

droben on February 22, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Mark, the floodgates have opened!

There are so many debacles with Luxury’s presentations. Three instantly come to mind:

Somehow or another, The Coliseum, a once grand palace but already on its death bed, managed to get an exclusive engagement of “Dune” in 70MM no less. However, leave it to The Coliseum to have the film break five times in one screening, which actually caused rioting. Seattle police had to be called in, and the event made the late news. Some people say ‘all publicity is good publicity.’ I don’t think that was the case here.

A couple of years after Luxury bought out the National General Theaters in the Seattle area, they carved up the large 900 seat house of the Crossroads, a twin theater in Bellevue. They did this in a most odd fashion, carving out two small houses in the back corners of the theater and leaving a hallway between them to access what was the front half of the original house. Anyway, they never bothered to realign the seats, so that the seats angled toward the wall instead of straight to the screen. Should you find yourself sitting towards the front on the side bordering the hallway, you had to crane your neck to see the screen. Brilliant! Also, they opened the theaters before they were finished. There was NO masking at all on the screens, and the walls had not been covered with any kind of soundproofing or drapes! I guess Luxury is just a word.

Finally, in my local Luxury house, the Aurora Village 4, it was opened with just one of the theaters finished and the lobby not even close to being completed. We’re talking a hard concrete floor in the lobby, the snack bar consisting of a folding table with a popcorn warmer, a portable soda dispenser and stacks of various candies to pick from. As far as I was concerned, this theater wasn’t even up to their standards (low as they were). It was built inside a former supermarket and the large theater (600 seats) had a ceiling so low that the main air-conditioner duct protruded down far enough from the ceiling so as to block out a small, but significant enough part of the screen at the top center of the picture. At one film I saw there (I think it was one of the Agatha Christie films), the left half of the screen was out of focus, while the right side was in focus. When I complained to the manager, he said that was the way the film was supposed to be shown. I kid you not! I asked for my money back, and (surprise) he refused. I never set foot in that hellhole afterwards. By the way, this theater was so cheap that they didn’t even install any of those nice high backed seats.

But I would like to end on an up note for Luxury. When Close Encounters initially played in Seattle, it was in 35MM four track dolby at the King in downtown Seattle. Even though the film critic of the Seattle Times railed against GCC for their refusal to show it in 70MM, they would not budge. Therefore, I drove 175 miles down to Portland to see it at Luxury’s Eastgate 3 in glorious 70MM on a huge screen. It was an excellent presentation in a great theater.

So once in a while, they’d actually get it right. But just once in a while.

markinthedark on February 22, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Dan, Yes they did indeed have comfortable high back chairs. At the Puyallup 6, however, it was only in the back half of the auditorium.

Just for your nostalgia, here are pictures of the Luxury Theatres horrible color scheme at the Lacey 8:

I thought that Act III had given the same makover to the Kent 6 that they did to the Puyallup 6. Here are pictures of the Puyallup 6 post-Act-III-ization:

I have to admit, not a bad job, considering how they used to be. While we are in a dumping-on-Luxury Theatres mood, here is one of my favorite Puyallup 6 moments: During a screening of “Trek” (a strange documentary that I cannot find anywhere, not even listed on IMDB!) the projectionist misses a projector changover. The screen goes bright white as the tail of the film leaves the gate. Then, the projectionist opens the port window and calls down to the audience that there will be a brief intermission, as if it was a regularly scheduled event. (It probably was at this theatre).

My other pet peeve with these theatres was that they had heavy wood doors to the auditoriums with latches that clicked whenever the doors were opened or closed. The doors also went directly from the hallway into the aisle with no light trap. Every auditorium had 2 doors. I have seen many Self -Storage Buildings with more thoughtful design, architechture, lighting, color schemes etc. The difference between these theatres and the nice SRO builds of the same area were night and day. At least Luxury got their act together when they built the Alderwood 7, Crossroads 8, and the Lloyds Center (in Portland) in the late 80’s (Luxury Theatres with THX and 70MM! Who would have expected it!).

Please keep dumping! Ah, the memories…

droben on February 22, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Mark, I was just about to enter my own comments, but you beat me to it! You did forget to mention a couple of items, one being the awful gold/orange/brown color scheme in all of Luxury’s theaters built during the 70s (and in the case of the Kent, remaining that same way until it closed about three years ago.

Another unique feature of Luxury Theaters was the placement of waste recepticals placed strategically inside each auditorium along the aisles every four or five rows. Now, that’s luxury! When Act III took over, that was the first thing to go!

Although truly not a Cinema Treasure, I sometimes wax nostalgically for these built-on-the-cheap cinemas that were plopped down in some of the worst locations imaginable (think the above mentioned Puyallup 6). They are truly part of a bygone era and have now completely disappeared from the Seattle-Tacoma market.

Lest anyone think that I love dumping on Luxury Theaters (which I do not deny), I will say that they were the first to install high-backed chairs in their new builds with lots of legroom in most of these cheap theaters. Being 6'4", that was a much appreciated feature.

markinthedark on February 22, 2007 at 11:10 am

This theatre was built by Tom Moyer’s Luxury Theatres in the early 80’s. “Luxury” is really not how these theatres should be described. In fact all they were quite bad and built on the ultra-cheap. Only a makeover by Act III Theatres in the 90’s brought them to any sense of normalcy in presentation and comfort. (Although the fixed aspect ratio screens stayed). Regal was quick to shut it down after taking over operations.

All of the above could be said for the nearby Puyallup 6 cinemas, a clone of the Kent 6. My family took us kids to see Mr. Mom on opening weekend of the Puyallup 6 in 1983. After we left we all felt it was worst 1st run theatre we had ever been to. It was even worse than many of the 2nd run houses in the area.

The Kent 6 is definitely not a Cinema “Treasure”.