To begin, I must let you know I have not experienced a movie at the Movieland Cinema itself. We did, however, recently experience a movie in the much more intimate Criterion Cinema located just outside the Movieland Cinema at Boulevard Square.
From your parking lot arrival, you will notice the care that has gone into developing this set of Bow-Tie Cinemas. The parking lot is attractive, well lit and nicely finished. The development itself is located near downtown Richmond in some older buildings which have a lot of character and lend a definite sense of charm to your movie-going experience. The Criterion Cinemas have been fitted into a very small brick building that you cannot believe houses any theaters. In fact, when you enter, you will be surprised at the clever design needed to pull this off. Even the bathrooms were well designed to fit in what almost seems to be extra space. They are appointed nicely and are more attractive than your typical movie theater bathrooms.
When we first entered the theater itself, I was intrigued by the small size. I was curious if it would be adequate for the "full" movie experience, but it seemed kind of quaint and novel to have only a few rows of seats and the screen so close to the seats
...that is until the place filled up. I'm guessing the capacity was about 50 people, and every seat was full for our movie. That's when the claustrophobia set in. We arrived early and plopped ourselves right in the middle for a nice view. But since there is only an entrance to each row from one side, guess what? We had to slide down and ended up with a side view. So much for arriving early. I would not have wanted to be the person shoved all the way up against the wall on the end. But don't arrive too late, either; you might be split from your significant other if the seats are mostly taken.
Then there was the issue of so many people in a very small place. I think someone opened a bottle of scented lotion, and there was no place for the smell to dissipate. No one's conversation was private. It even took way too long into the serious movie for this particular crowd to stop talking and laughing, and there was no escape. It was also a bit warm for a winter night. All of this was quite distracting, mostly due to the close contact of the theater.
Once the movie began and when the crowd eventually settled down, we were able to thoroughly enjoy the movie. The screen size works just fine once your eyes adjust. The sound was pretty good but not quite the huge theater experience. The leather seats were most comfortable, although mine was a bit noisy. I think if you entered in a wheelchair, this would be an awesome theater. The accessible seats were at the top in the back. They had more space but were still not very far from the screen.
If you could attend this theater when you knew there would be a small crowd, it would be a really cool experience. In fact, I would probably choose it over that of a larger theater. However, during a crowded showtime, be warned that you better be able to tolerate intimate contact with about 49 other people if you want to experience this small theater. It is well done, very comfortable, and cleverly designed. It is worth a try.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.