Look and Feel
First off, the theater is beautiful, modern and stylish. It doesn't have cheesy cardboard ads in the lobby, there are no kids hanging out playing video games, and it's simple, but nice. It's definitely trying to appeal to an upscale market.
For a general admission ticket in the evening the price is $12.50 for an adult. After perusing some of the other theaters in the area our theater tends to be on the upper end of the price spectrum (from what we've seen tickets to movies in Chicago cost between $10 - $11). The one thing that justifies the premium at RC is the reserved seating function that is present in all the theaters. The nice thing about this is that you know where you're going to sit and if you have a large group you can see where your group can fit (which is usually a big problem when going to the movies with a large group).
If you're feeling like a baller and need the best of the best, there is the VIP seating area. These tickets go for $17.50 in the evening and are only available at two of the 16 theaters (which typically play the biggest box office movies). The VIP section has more room, leather seats and a small table area between every two seats. The other interesting thing is that you're allowed to bring drinks (of the adult variety) and food into the theater from the second floor lounge. Beyond that it doesn't look like there is any other reason to pony up the extra $5 unless you're feeling special and want to be considered "VIP".
Picture and Sound Quality
We don't claim to be movie or tech geeks but wow! Both the picture and sound quality of the movie we saw was amazing. Super clear picture and the sounds seemed to come from everywhere. Simply put, this probably is the most important thing about a good theater and Kerasotes ICON doesn't disappoint in this area.
2nd Floor Lobby Lounge
If you're a fan of the interior design at Opera, Carnivale, Gioco and Red Light then chances are you will like this space. Jerry Kleiner, brings a unique feel to the movie theater with his lounge on the second floor. Although it doesn't seem to be as over the top as some of his restaurants, it's still got an unusual chic feel that makes it unique.
We didn't have a chance to check out any of the food or drinks, but we've been told things were solid. The thing that strikes you the most about the space is the gorgeous view of the skyline to the north (you've probably seen it if you've driven
Staff and Concessions
One thing is clear, there are a lot of people working at this theater. Maybe this was due to the opening and getting out of the gate with plenty of help, but regardless there was someone at every corner waiting to assist you. This was nice, but in our opinion a little much. However it's hard to complain about too much service.
When I went to get the official tour, I was taken around by a great manager who was super excited about the capabilities and features of the theater. So there is definitely some pride at this theater which seemed evident throughout the staff.
The concessions are also a little different at this theater. There are coffees, pizza and I'm pretty sure I saw ice cream. Everything was expensive, but on par with most movie theaters. The one thing that intrigued us was the popcorn with real butter. We payed an extra 40 or 50 cents for it and to be honest couldn't tell the difference.
Roosevelt collection has potential. It's easy to envision a bustling shopping complex with a variety of stores and restaurants anchored by a great movie theater. However, right now it's barren and eerie. Being the optimists that we are, we're still excited about the retail at Roosevelt Collection and can't wait until it begins to show signs of life.
Our one gripe about the complex is that it feels like it's walled off and a self contained environment. To be fair to RC, it's a good design given the issues with the above grade road at Roosevelt. It's hard to integrate within the community when one of the main access point (at Roosevelt road) is approximately three stories above ground level. It's a good design, but the complex still feels a little independent.
Like we said, the positives outweigh the negatives here. The movie theater will bring people to the South Loop and that's a good thing for businesses, retail and restaurants. It's also good for us, the residents of the neighborhood, since we won't have to schlep north to see a movie anymore.