Confession time: Until last Sunday, I had never been the the movies by myself. Maybe a lot of you are in the same boat, but I found it particularly funny seeing as how I’ve flown on a plane by myself halfway across the country to meet Internet friends (*insert Catfish jokes here*). And yet, nope, I’ve never been to the movies alone.
I did some thinking about this, and really it comes down to being fearful about the perception of other people. Flying on a plane alone is normal. Seeing a movie by yourself might appear like you don’t have any friends. After all, I watch movies alone at home all the time and totally enjoy myself!
So I finally decided to bite the bullet when Maya Cinemas opened at Campus Pointe (across from SaveMart Center) a couple weeks ago. I thought it would be a good excuse to review the new theater for you guys as well! I chose to see “Pitch Perfect 2” for the second time, because I already knew I would enjoy myself and have a good laugh.
I had a lot of stupid thoughts running around in my head, like, “I shouldn’t have picked Sunday afternoon. I should have gone to a crowded movie on a Friday night so I could blend in. What if it’s empty? Will it be creepy? Will it be obvious I’m totally alone?”
But guess what? Nobody cared what I was doing. Or if they did, I definitely didn’t notice. And Maya Cinemas? Is fabulous!
Maya Cinemas is independently-owned and locally-operated. The company is focused on developing movie theaters in areas with a strong Latino presence. So far, they have theaters in Fresno, Bakersfield, Salinas and Pittsburg, CA.
When I first heard about a new 16-screen theater opening in Fresno, I wondered how it could compete, particularly with Edwards. It’s in a prime location next to Fresno State, in the area pretty much dead between the movie theaters at Riverpark and Sierra Vista. But still, I thought Maya needed some things to set it apart.
I’m happy to report that Maya Cinemas definitely stands out. The first thing I noticed was the lower prices. It’s $10.50 for a ticket and $7.50 for a matinee, versus $12 at Edwards and $9 for a matinee. Maya also has a Tuesday Family rate of $5.50 for certain movies. (To be fair, I should mention that Sierra Vista does $5 tickets on all movies on Tuesdays.)
Stepping into the megaplex, the lobby is big and bright, and there’s seating areas on both sides for people to relax before a movie. Don’t get confused, though. They don’t take your ticket at the front. Ticket takers are located at either side of the concession stand, depending on which theater you’re headed to. (I may or may not have walked into one door, walked back out and walked into the other side looking for the ticket taker, before I figured this out.)
Next I hit up the concessions, which weren’t all that special at first glance, although the hot and cold flavored teas are something I’ll have to try sometime. So I got a soda, and the thing I was secretly hoping would happen actually came true. Is it weird that I’m so obsessed with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine? It’s probably because I only drink diet soda, and there’s usually only one option for that in a soda machine everywhere you go. With the Freestyle, the options seem endless, with 125 flavors and options to mix them using a touch screen computer. Maya has three of them installed on either side of the lobby, which by the way, helps cut down on the wait time for buying your popcorn.
On the way into the theater, there’s a large party room behind a glass wall. The individual theaters also have several highlights, including large comfortable seats that lean back slightly and legroom wide enough that you can actually walk in front of someone without tripping. And for those of us who like to sneak in late, the lights are actually kept on during the previews, making it easier to find a seat or find your friends.
And like I said, I had an awesome time watching “Pitch Perfect 2” by myself. I sat right in the middle, laughed, bopped my head to the music and did not care at all. And I couldn’t believe I was so scared to go the the movies alone. I actually think I might make this a regular thing, and since I live right down the street from Maya Cinemas, it’s the perfect place to go!
P.S. Even the bathrooms are fancy. Automatic soap, faucet and hand dryer all in one. Wut?!
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