UA Theater: Nightmare on Court Street

From the BHB Inbox comes this dispatch from a reader:

My family of 4 have lived in Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill for 6 years now.  We’ve noticed a deterioration in quality of service and cleanliness at the UA Court Street Stadium 12 over the years (not that it was that nice to begin with).  My wife has come to a point where she wants to boycott the theatre as she thinks its “nasty”.  I’ve written Regal Cinemas customer care, have inquired whether the Brooklyn Heights Association has any type of agenda around the theatre and wanted to inquire via your blog whether anyone else has any ideas.  My theory around the theatre is as follows: from what I can observe, this theatre is likely incredibly profitable and conducting a renovation or even increasing the staff resources to keep it cleaner probably wouldn’t change much in terms of the attendance.  That being said, if other people agree with my sentiments, I’d suggest some type of collective efforts via Regal Cinemas corporate to address these issues. I’ll leave it at that.

Do you agree? Is the UA Court Street a lousy place to see a movie? Regal Cinemas has a nifty feedback form on its website if you’d like to give them your opinion.

Flickr photo by bettyblade

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  • AliG

    Outstanding! I’ve been referring to it as Ghetto Theater since it opened.

  • Chris

    I don’t see what’s wrong with it. Renovations? To what? It’s clean to me. How clean do you want it to be? People are lous as hell in the theatre, but what can you do about that? As far as the street, I’ll admit Court St. is kind of filthy.

  • j.

    I’m on board. How about a petition of sorts?

  • JL

    We avoid that place at all costs. We go to the local theatres for indy films (Brookyn Height Cinema, BAM Rose, etc.) and to Regal Battery Park for the bigger studio films. (Easy walk from Park Place or Chambers St. 2/3/A/C)

    The few times I have gone to Court St, there has almost always been some obnoxious people in the crowd either talking or playing with their cell phones, or some little baby screaming (and forget it if you yell at them, potential for things to get out of hand quickly). Not to mention the little kids in R rated movies with their folks (which I guess is allowed). Place is awful, but sadly, I don’t think it is going to change, especially with lines out the door and movies selling out frequently.

    I wouldn’t say it was dirty though (unless of course you are talking about the people and not the structure).

    Let the boycott begin.

  • lifer

    How do you define “ghetto” without making it sound racist?

  • Peter

    Worst … theatre … ever. Always loud, with no rhyme or reason about how they heard in customers. I saw “I am Legend There,” I felt like I was waiting for bread in the former Soviet Union.

    ALWAYS loud too, so annoying …

  • MR

    I have a theory as to why there are so many crying babies and antsy kids in the UA Court Street theater. It’s mainly caused by the discount for kids that the movie theater currently offers: $6 per child. If you’re a young parent, and you’re poor, then it makes a lot of economic sense for you to take your kids to the movies at Court St. for a couple hours: where else can you get a baby sitter for two kids, for two hours at just $6/hour? And when you see others doing the same thing, it tends to reinforce that this is acceptable behavior. In my view, if you stop the kid discount you will significantly decrease all the other problems at the theater. Just a theory…

  • Bob Toll

    May I suggest a move to the suburbs?

  • MR

    Following up on my previous post, I do not think it’s necessarily fair to deprive poor parents of this valuable opportunity. (How would we feel if this was taken away from us if we were in that situation?) So, as an alternative, perhaps it makes sense to restrict the kids discounts to only certain movies (e.g., PG and PG-13), or only to certain hours. That might be a good compromise.

  • Ashley

    When my husband and I went to see Superman a few summers ago, what looked to be a 6-month-old infant screamed at the top of her little lungs for 30 minutes before someone came into remove her and her mother. Not to mention the fact that the whole place is filthy.

  • Anon

    Yes, the natives are quite revolting. I propose that we get some buses and ship them out to Bed Stuy so that we can watch our movies unperturbed. Please pass me the crumpets.

  • Chris

    I completely agree. This is the worst theater ever. Very dirty, no customer service, most of the concessions are closed. My wife and I would rather go to Manahttan or Queens to watch a movie or visit local Henry Street theatre. I am on board with a petition.

  • BKBS

    This whole discussion doesn’t even border on racist; it dives in headfirst. So the affluent white folks don’t like the movie theater? Go elsewhere. Our neighborhood is enough of a classist/racist enclave; at least the movie theater draws the sort of people who make up the majority of our borough.

  • Billy

    Anon, you’re a riot.
    pass the crumpets.
    There are some vedy vedy un-U people
    at the local cinie.
    don’t they have movies in the projects?
    my word.
    would you like a little clotted cream?

  • Peter

    dirty ghetto movie theater.
    I avoid Court Street as much as possible.

  • bornhere

    I wondered how long it would take for this post to devolve into a race/class thing. That said, I’m not so sure if I would choose to see a movie in this theater were it not in my neighborhood: it’s not clean, the service is borderline, and I’m not sure it provides for a fun-filled evening of film. And if you don’t know about the endless reports of street crime around the theater, you’re denying certain facts. Is anyplace in New York really safe? Who knows. But I would tend to prefer to spend my movie dollars at a location that might be less likely to be the site of “disputes,” muggings, or worse.

  • hoppy

    I remember a conversation I had with an adult friend of mine about how he went to see the Jim Carrey movie, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” with his adult girlfriend at a certain suburban theater, and complained about teen girls and others yapping throughout the entire movie. While I agreed that anyone who talks during any movie should be punched hard in the face, I felt compelled to remind him that watching the “Grinch” at the suburban multiplex is not exactly attending the Cannes film festival. I’m sure the same applies here. Yes, if you pay money to see a movie, you should expect a clean theater and respectful patrons. But this theater seems to cater to the big Hollywood blockbusters, action films and base comedies, which almost always suck and are marketed to the lowest common denominater. So why even bother paying money to see them here, and then complain about the quality of your surroundings? It’s like complaning of the cleanliness and ambiance at the McDonalds up the street.

  • anon

    Just rent the dvd’s and let the kids watch them in the SUV as you house hunt in Connecticut.

  • Lester

    Look. No one is being racist here. When you go to the movies and see kids being loud and rambunctious, that ruins your experience. Just because they’re black and you’re not, doesn’t mean u shouldn’t be allowed to say anything about it. If they were quiet in the movie, like everyone else, you’d have no issue with them. Regardless, it’s up to the theatre to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere. If they had a zero tolerance policy for interrupting the movie, then the noisemakers would go elsewhere. But in the end, its a question of who’s spending the money there. Maybe there’s more money in catering to the noisy crowd.

  • peppermint

    This theater is totally fine! I’ve been there many times. You all are calling it ghetto because a lot of black people go to the movies there. Get over yourselves and focus on petitions for worthier causes. I 100% agree with BKBS.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    I knew this would happen when they took the porn out. It used to be soooo cool with the stick floors, and the action in the bathrooms. I miss the good old neighborhood.

  • popcorn man

    I NEVER go to this theatre anymore. after countless shitty experiences there with people screaming and bringing babies to midnight shows… I told a kid to stop kicking my chair after he did it for 2 hours at least 50 times on purpose.. he then took his large popcorn and dumped the whole thing on my head. looking back it was kind of funny.. but i will never go back to that shithole ghetto place again

  • Teddy

    This discussion reminds me of the HBO special with black comedian Martin Lawrence a few years back when he discussed the differences between white and black people when they both come together in a movie theater. Basically he said that black people like to be loud & rambunctious while white people are usually quiet & reserved. He also said the whites who are usually afraid to say anything will instead just turn their head around for a second (if some black people sitting behind them are being too loud). If the blacks don’t get the “message”, they’ll “tell on them”.

    Anyway, it’s just a clash of two cultures and another reason I’m getting a large flat panel for my living room in the next couple of months with a Blu-ray player and extra speakers/subwoofer attached. I can wait 3-5 months for the movie to come out on Blu-ray or pay-per-view. Besides most movies that are released in that theater are not even worth half the money you pay.

  • keever

    I don’t think it’s any worse than the other multiplexes in or outside of the city.

    My only specific complaint is that when you stumble upon one of the screenings specifically marketed to parents and babies, they warn you about the potential crying (which is, IMHO, much less disruptive than various adult behaviors) but not the fact that many of the speakers are turned off to protect little ears. Everyone eventually ends up moving to sit on top of each other at the front just so they can hear what’s going on. But really, after that happened once, I just made a point to remember when they schedule those.

  • Susan O’Doherty

    I don’t understand the point of a petition. I dislike this theater for the same reasons my teenage son and his friends enjoy it–action-oriented films, lots of young people in the audience, and a youngish staff that in my experience skews toward rudeness but that they experience as fast-moving and efficient. So I prefer BAM or the Henry Street theater–does this mean the Court St. theater should have to change to accommodate my taste? Why?

  • bb

    white people are stupid

  • JAM

    I agree with the poor conditions of the theatre. I’ve been to two movies there and will never go back — too much audience participation. My wife and I either use the Cobble Hill theater further south on Court St., the Henry Street theater in the Heights or the Battery Park theater for more mainstream movies — less crowds.

    With the condo development on and off Court, I hope the street gets cleaned up. One good step recently is the anticipated opening of Busy Chef at Court & Schmerhorn (?). The best we can hope for in the neighborhood is that the north part of Court is like Montague… not great or charming, just clean and functional.

    Ghetto is a harsh word as 23rd Street in Manhattan has the same stores and that isn’t ghetto. THe biggest problem on Court is the sidewalk vendors preventing an easy stroll. If we want to petition anything, let’s find a way to close the vendors. Downtown Bklyn is what it is, a government district and until the rest of the condos pop up that everyone seems to oppose, Court St. won’t get cleaner.

    Instead of boycotting the UA theater, let’s fight to keep the Cobble Hill theater in its place!!

  • African American Cobble Hill Mom

    I do not believe it is a “race thing”…

    I am an African American (old word Black, Colored, Negro…whateva) single mother of an 8 year-old boy. I have lived in Cobble Hill since 1993. My son was born at LICH….I HATE that theatre! The culture of rudeness and rowdyness of the PATRONS is just too much (the staff seems pretty okay). For the convenience, we do go there, but mostly (only) for eaaaarrrly shows. I feel nervous just walking by from the 4/5 to get to the B61 on Fridays (and Thursdays!)

    ps. This is the same reason that we OOONNNNNNNLLLYYYY go to Chuck E. Cheese at Atlantic Center at 10:30 am on Saturdays and have pizza for breakfast. We are outta there by 12:30-1:00.

  • jimbo

    My wife and I saw “Training Day” at this theater and will never return. The crowd was so loud and obnoxious and people kept taking calls on their cell phones throughout the movie. Thankfully, I prefer indie and foreign films, which usually attract a more civilized crowd. I also agree with the poster who prefers to see films on DVD.

  • Billy Reno

    I love this theatre! 2 blocks from home. Here’s a tip: Don’t see an Ice Cube piece of crap on opening weekend! To the UA clean up crew: Wait until you see the Panavision symbol at the end of the credits before you turn on the lights and pick up! Yeah, I’m the kinda guy who likes to see who did the music and where it was filmed.