Saturday, July 13, 2013

Disneyland Review: Main Street Cinema

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Cool and uncrowded showing of six Mickey shorts
Cons: Not worth more than 10 minutes
The Bottom Line
Enjoy Mickey shorts
In this little theater
Fun for a short break

Take a Break from the Crowds and See Some of Mickey's Early Work

There are corners all over Disneyland that the average tourist never visits.  Truth be told, many of them aren’t necessarily the biggest or best locations in the park, but they are still fun.  One of those is the Main Street Cinema.  It’s a great place to stop for a few minutes when you need a bit of a break.

The cinema is located part way between the entrance plaza and the castle at the end of Main Street.  As you are walking to the heart of the park, it’s on your right hand side.  You can spot it because it has a mannequin sitting in a ticket booth in front of red curtains.  On the walls outside are posters for six of Mickey Mouse’s early black and white shorts.  No tickets are needed at this cinema.  Just push through the turn style and through the curtain to enter.

Once you get inside, you’ll find yourself in a circular room with six screens on the walls.  Each screen is showing a different black and white Mickey Mouse short.  By some weird coincidence, they are the same ones posted on the walls outside.  They are also showing in chronological order going from your right as you first walk in to the left side by the exit.  At least when I was there in October, the six shorts showing were: “Plane Crazy,” “Steamboat Willie,” “The Moose Hunt,” "Traffic Troubles,” "The Dognapper,” and “Mickey’s Polo Team.”  And in case you are wondering, yes, I did list these in correct order.  “Plane Crazy” was released second but finished first.

The room is not big.  I would guess it would feel crowded at 50 people, but I’ve never seen more than a couple dozen in there, which feels quite comfortable.  There is a round platform in the middle for kids to stand on while adults are welcome to use the outer circle for their viewing pleasure.

There is no show, there are no starting times.  Each of these shorts plays continuously all day.  They are staggered, so you can try to watch all six of them at once, which would take you roughly 7 minutes, or you can watch them one at a time which would be about 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, the cinema has some fundamental flaws.  The first is no where to sit.  If you do want to watch anything, you have to stand up to do so.  That might be on purpose because it certainly cuts down on the number of people who spend very long in there.

As I mentioned earlier, the shorts have staggered start and end times.  This means you can not watch one and move on to the next and start at the beginning.  No matter how you time things, the next one you try to watch will be in the middle when you try to move forward.

They have the sound turned down on five of the shorts and a general silent movie theater soundtrack going in the background.  The exception is “Steamboat Willie.”  Unfortunately, these two soundtracks compete with each other.  They really should have one or the other going.

On the plus side, the cinema is always air conditioned.

If you miss the Main Street Cinema, it’s not a big deal.  I usually only stop in once every two or three years.  But if you have the time, it’s fun to stop in for a few minutes and enjoy some classic Mickey Mouse.

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