Mikeh has offered to post the reviews he’s been writing on local theaters on the site over the remainder of the summer. This is the last one he will review. Enjoy!
After visiting quite a few south metro theaters did I end up saving the best till last? Today I am reviewing the Paragon Odyssey 15.
On Saturday July 20th I visited the Paragon Odyssey 15 theater with my son to see the 12:10 showing of the movie R.I.P.D. This theater is one of the 3 I visited that has a massive screen, though that is not the screen I saw this movie on. Each time I checked they had a 3D movie playing on it and 3D movies don’t work for me. But this theater does have a unique feature others in the area do not: reserved seating in a VIP seating area for a couple of their screens. So I ordered online for the VIP showing, picked my seats (reserved seating for VIP area) through the web interface and was ready to go.
Ticket Purchase and Lobby – Matinee ticket price was $7.00 plus a $1.00 VIP area charge, and a $1.00 handling surcharge for the online ordering. In the evening the VIP are charge is $3 but for shows before 3pm, it is only $1.00. As with the other theaters, pricing varies and you should call to confirm any specials they have, especially during the week. Parking for the theater is essentially in the Burnsville Center mall parking lot. You will have to walk across one of the roads inside the mall parking area so use care. They do have a drop off road in front of the theater to allow you to drop off people if you want them to avoid a walk.
We walked in the door of the theater at about 11:55 and right away I noticed it was dark in there. The ticket booths go across the front of the lobby and are pretty close to the doors you enter at. This makes it challenging to see all the booths and at an early show, to find the one that is actually staffed. My son spotted the young woman working in a booth far to the right. We presented the credit card used to buy the tickets, she ran it through a machine and out popped our tickets. Entering the lobby it was a little brighter but still pretty dark. They have a lot of glass to let light in but it is blocked by a overhead mezzanine they have erected which houses the VIP area with the bistro and the big bar. Concessions are a single counter positioned right in front of you as you enter from the ticket booth area. A smaller counter than say at Lakeville or Carmike, I wonder how busy it might get during a big feature night? For us it was fine and while they have those animated signs again, these did not animate all at once so there was always one visible with pricing info. Pepsi products are the beverages here and the pop is self serve (free refills), the first self serve theater and only the second Pepsi one. A large popcorn comes in a bag and is really about 2/3 the size of the large tub of popcorn at some other theaters and no free refills indicated. VIP ticket holders can go up into the mezzanine to enter the theater and in the evening eat food from the bistro up there as well as get some drinks. This was not running while I was there. Stairway is on the left as you enter the building in the middle of the lobby and they also have an elevator.
Theater Impressions – We arrived in the theater at 11.55 for a 12:10 movie and were in our seats by 12:05. After having our ticket ripped, our theater was immediately to our right so we headed right in. I noted in the hallway for the screens they had LED signs showing the movie and the status (i.e. now seating) which should make it pretty easy to find the screen you are looking for. Since we did not pick the large screen (called PepsiMax Extreme Screen) I did not know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when I entered and saw how big the screen really was. Definitely larger than the Marcus or the Regal but smaller than the big screens I had seen so far, this standard screen was a good size. Walking in like a non vip, I could see the VIP area up above so we walked up the stairs and then went through a marked gate to enter our VIP area. Lighting in the theater even so close to start time was really good and we could easily walk around and even see the numbers on the seats.
The VIP area is positioned at the top dozen or so rows of seats in the theater. Seats are set in pairs with wide spacing beside the pairs. Each pair of seats are separate seats and the are numbered as you pick your seats when you order the tickets. The seat pairs are split by a center armrest that can be lifted out of the way if you wish. Cup holders are in the seat arms on the outside of the pair of seats. The cup holders on the seats have a flat area that appears to be used to hold a plate from the bistro if you bring it in. Apparently during the movie someone would come and take drink and food orders on nights when the bistro and bar are open. VIP seats are leather like covered material with high backs and they rock/recline. They appear slightly wider than the general seats. The general seats are fabric covered with high backs and also appear to rock recline. For our show there were a handful of folks in the general seats and 2 other pairs in the VIP seats with us. During the movie I found the seats comfortable enough that I wouldn’t try and avoid them in the future.
One thing stood out when entering the theater and that was that there was no sound. The show that plays before the movie starts usually has some sound but there was none. At about 2 minutes before showtime a young woman in a theater uniform with a big flashlight came in to the VIP area and started asking to see tickets from those seated there. We as well as the other 2 pairs of people showed their tickets to the gal, a process that appeared standard for the VIP area. One of the pairs of people asked if they were going to fix the sound and the staff person said sometimes the sound was out before the feature but it will work once the feature starts. And like clockwork, at 12:10 the main feature started and we had sound. They started with previews, as well as telling us they are using a Sony Digital 4k projection system (DLP). And without delay at 12:17 the previews were over and we were on to the main feature. During the trailers I did notice that the sound system wasn’t as loud as I experienced at Lakeville the prior week, but during the movie the sound was clear and certainly audible, and the image was nice and bright.
About 5 minutes into the movie a pair of Burnsville police officers walked into the theater and came up and talked to a pair of guys sitting in the VIP area. I don’t know why, maybe they didn’t have tickets for the VIP area and that young woman didn’t want to deal with them? All I know is the two guys got up and left with the police officers and then about 20 minutes later the two guys came back in. Then about 15 minutes later they left. I have no idea what was going on. But maybe it would be a good idea to make sure you have tickets for the VIP area if you sit there in case they decide to call the cops on you.
Nice sized genera cinema screen.
Optional VIP area.
- Police visit during the show.
Large popcorn size kinda small.
Dark lobby, making it hard to see where to go, especially for first time visitors.
The follow is a list of prices I noted
- Matinee Ticket – $7.00
VIP matinee Surcharge – $1.00
Large Popcorn – $6.50
Large Pop – $5.50
Candy – $4.50, $4.00, $3.50
2 Medium Pop and a Large Popcorn – $15.00
Have you been to Paragon Odyssey 15? If so what did you think about it? Would you pay extra for VIP seating at a theater? Do you think you should have to pay a surcharge to buy tickets (regardless of venue) online when there is no human interaction required? Would you be spooked by police officers entering the theater while you were there? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as we’d love to hear what you have to say.