Best Movie Theater - AMC River Park Square 20 - There's nothing controversial about this downtown success-story -- people love it. The Kansas City-based theater chain redefined the movie-going experience in the Inland Northwest when it opened for business in 1999, featuring luxurious seats (with cupholders), great views (stadium seating) and crisp sound systems. Since then, Regal has followed suit with a new theater at NorthTown (our readers' second place pick), but AMC has won the loyalty of the majority.
And downtown's turnaround owes a lot to AMC, too, as the theater is attracting lots of people who often eat at the district's restaurants. The theater's drawing power has helped downtown return from the precipice of retail oblivion it stood on not so long ago.
Our only beef -- and it has nothing to do with the AMC movie-going experience at all -- is, with all those screens, can't they make a little more room for some of the arty films that never seem to make it to Spokane? This is probably a critique that fits any theater these days, but does Dude, Where's My Car? really need to play on three screens, while more satisfying fare can't even make it onto one? We know, economics say yes -- we're just venting.
3rd: Regal-Spokane Valley Mall