I’ve had a long, passionate love affair with the movies, beginning as a little girl and leading right up to the present. As we gear up for the onslaught of Oscar-worthy films that are traditionally released at the end of each year, culminating in the big Christmas Day premieres, I’m always thankful that—in addition to all the great film festivals available throughout the year in the Palm Springs Valley—there are also a plethora of movie palaces (now more affectionately called “multiplexes”) that present first-run features. And thankfully, many of them, including the two that I’m fortunate enough to live nearby in Rancho Mirage, have stadium seating, allowing for a great view from any place in the house.
Cinemark’s Century Theaters at The River (www.cinemark.com) has long been a favorite, especially with its wide selection of dining options nearby. But headed the other direction, in the large shopping complex that holds the Home Depot at the corner of Monterey and Dinah Shore, you’ll find something very special at the Regal Cinemas’ (www.regmovies.com) Rancho Mirage Stadium 16.
After a half-million-dollar renovation, Rancho Mirage Stadium 16 is now home to the desert’s only IMAX theater—one of only 840 or so of these wide-screen specialty theaters in the world, each of which offers an amazing movie-viewing experience. Making its debut this past summer with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” it’s been an instant hit with moviegoers. In the same shopping center you’ll find all kinds of great places for lunch or dinner before or after a movie, including terrific pizza and Italian specialties at The Slice, tasty eats and margaritas at the festive Maracas Mexican Cantina and Grill, and burgers, burgers, and more burgers at both Burgers & Beer and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a fun movie night on the town.