Pass the popcorn
When people list the activities available in Hastings, going to a movie is almost always at the top of that list. We are even lucky enough to be home to two different theaters: the Imperial 3 Theater and the Rivoli Fridley Theater. Or simply the Imperial and the Rivoli. Each has different qualities that make it memorable, and quite unique from each other.
I asked a wide range of people (high school/college students, out of towners, adults, parents, and even their children) their opinions of the two theaters. The Imperial, although it has its positive points, was the less favored. The most common comment was that the shows consistently start late.
One experience with a late start was shared regarding a Harry Potter midnight premiere. Not only did the Imperial start letting people into the theater just 20 minutes before the scheduled showtime, they did not actually start the movie until they had served everyone all the concessions they desired. They may have had good intentions, but it was very poorly executed. In the end, the movie was over 40 minutes late in starting. Recently a friend of mine went to a movie there and experienced a “lovely” 20-minute late start. It’s just not fun to wait unnecessarily for something you already paid a good price to see.
Prices were one positive comment I heard about the Imperial. They offer a convenient student price, while Rivoli only offers senior, adult and child tiers of pricing. The difference is only a couple of bucks though, which makes it a question of whether you want to save the money for a late start, sticky floor, abrupt service and a drive home from the edge of town. At least while you wait for your movie, you get to sit in a comfy chair. The seating was another positive comment I heard about the Imperial. Lots of leg room, bigger seats giving you more room from the person next to you, and a plush cushion make for experience that if late, was at least comfortable.
If you’re going for a true, all around movie experience, I prefer the Rivoli. The minute you walk up to the front of theater and see those classic marquee lights, you know you’re in for a treat. Selling you your ticket (as he has been at least all of my lifetime) is Justin, the manager. Walk over to the well maintained, organized, and friendly-staffed concession counter, and choose from yummy popcorn or candy, or splurge a little and get both. Here lies the one complaint I heard about the Rivoli. The prices of yummies seem a little extreme, but compared to the Imperial there really isn’t much difference.
After getting your treats, enter any of the theaters, and be greeted with comfortable chairs, classic lighting, and an on-time movie. You just can’t beat the old-time movie feel you get at the Rivoli. It’s a staple establishment of Hastings. Located right downtown, it’s perfect for a night out with friends, or a special friend, or your family, or any combination of these. I have relatives that will drive from Grand Island just to come to a movie at our theater. All because the Rivoli is charming, and worth every penny.
It’s up to you really—and it’s also a function of where the movie you want to see is playing. Both Hastings theatre complexes are perfectly acceptable theaters, and you’ll have a good time (depending on your company) at either establishment. Popcorn is popcorn, and the movie is what you came to see. It’s just what kind of experience you want. If you’re simply looking for a movie (and it’s one you want to see), go the Imperial. But if you are looking for something more special, a true experience, sweet and charming, go right downtown, straight to the big bold marquee lights, and head into the Rivoli. That’s where you’ll find me!
4 Responses to “Pass the popcorn”
Leave a Reply
Please read our Standards of User Content.