The Irvine Co.'s revamped Island Cinema at Fashion Island in Newport Beach won't open to the public until Friday, but charity screening events tonight and Wednesday night give sneak peaks to guests who pony up $50 each.
The 31,300-foot, seven-screen cinema space will now feature a spacious lobby reflecting Fashion Island's Italianate architecture look, auditoriums with stadium seating, comfy oversized seats with extra-wide arm rests, wider aisles and more legroom. Once it's open to the public, Island Cinema will offer in-theater dining (sandwiches, specialty pizzas, quiches, vegetarian spring rolls, pastries, etc.) with specialty coffee, premium beer, champagne and wine service.
Tonight at 7, the Newport Beach Film Festival celebrates the official grand re-opening of the movie house that, until April's run, had screened most festival films. While some fest films continued to roll at the Regency Lido and other Newport Beach venues, due to the rehab the bulk of this year's programming moved across the border to the Triangle Square screens in Costa Mesa.
To usher in the new age of Island Cinema, the festival tonight screens Young Adult, which comes from the writing/directing team behind Juno (Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman). Charlize Theron plays a teen literature writer who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and hopefully reclaim her high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson), who is happily married. When that's not working out, the writer bonds with another high school classmate (Patton Oswalt), who she barely remembers. Dramedy ensues. Young Adult opens wide Friday.
Following the screening, the festival throws one of its famous parties at True Food Kitchen, the Newport Center restaurant where the Hard Rock Cafe used to be. Food and drinks are provided by the hosts: True Food, Stella Artois and Perfect 1864 Vodka. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the door, but it's a 21+ deal.
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Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Oceana organization that protects the world's oceans presents "Evening at the Cinema," a special advance screening of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Jr. as the famous sleuth and Jude Law as his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson.
The post-party features martinis and restaurant tastings from Roy's, Island Hotel Newport Beach, Café Beau Soleil, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory and Daily Grill. The ticket price is also $50. Visit http://eveningatthecinema.org/ to snag one.