Marque Deux (a Trip Report from Draper, Utah)

If you go to movies at our local Cinemark, but also notice Cinemarks in other cities, you might wonder two things:

  1. Why their movie theater listings include locations that have been closed for years, labeled “NOW CLOSED:”
  2. What is  a Cinemark “XD” and/or “NEXTGEN” theater, and are we missing out by not having those in Ann Arbor

Well, I have answers.

This screenshot from depicts the Universal Mall location, which closed with the mall in the late 2000s, but is nonetheless “Always accepting applications.”

Universal Mall was an indoor mall in Warren that got Arborlanded (i.e. torn down and replaced by blocks of stores with outdoor entrances) in, like, 2008. MJR, a Detroit area chain (that was locally-owned until very recently), built a new theater on the site of the old Cinemark Movies 16. My hunch is that Cinemark keeps these locations up in their listings, with the “NOW CLOSED” flag, to steer traffic to their other area theaters. A quick search for “Universal Mall movie theater” has MJR’s current theater at the top of results, but if you remember that the old theater was a Cinemark and try to review its showtimes at their site, you would be forgiven for thinking there was no movie theater there anymore.

NEXTGEN is a theater layout and branding scheme that Cinemark adopted a few years ago. I have been to opening-week screenings of a couple of franchise action films at these theaters while traveling out west in recent monts, and I suspect by the time Cinemark rebranded and were ready to update the Ann Arbor 20, that was the current-gen look of their theaters and no longer an experiment warranting the “NEXTGEN” brand.

One of the theaters I visited is the Cinemark in Draper, Utah, a few miles south of Salt Lake City.

Exterior of Cinemark Draper and XD, Draper, UT

This theater is about half the size of our 20-screen Ann Arbor location but looks quite a bit like it inside. The lobby has one entrance, one ticket counter, and one concessions queue.

At this and the other location I visited, the concessions queue takes a right turn into the ticket-taker’s position instead of going straight to the middle of the lobby. All the dumb photos I took in here and I didn’t get a shot of this, so you’re gonna have to take my word for it. Sorry. Anyway, here’s the XD auditorium:


The XD room is the biggest theater in the complex. I didn’t measure the screen but it’s a floor to ceiling style presentation, similar to IMAX but not as square as the IMAX ratio. The sound system is THX-certified, apparently 11 clusters.

The XD audience layout. I went to a weeknight show on a non-discount night, and got there early enough to be first into the theater. (C)A2RS

The Draper theater has the same reclining seats as our Ann Arbor theater, though the theater I visited in southern California over the summer did not and I surprised myself by how nose-in-the-air I was about it. When you spend enough time watching movies in a La-Z-Boy, regular movie seats start to seem quaint, if not charmingly tacky. I think the recline button module in my seat in Draper might have had differently shaped buttons, maybe a little harder to find, but also harder to recline or incline by accident.

I took a picture of this horrible M&M’s ad because I wanted to show you the screen, and they really don’t like it when you take pictures of the actual movie. (C)A2RS

The picture looked great and the sound was good too. I saw Terminator Dark Fate, which I was very satisfied with. Nobody comes here for the movie reviews.

Summary: If you are in Ann Arbor, you should go see a movie at the Michigan or the State. If not there, then Cinemark is a good choice. (Some people will insist I mention Emagine but I’m leaving that to my counterpart at If you are not in Ann Arbor and you are used to Cinemark, you should definitely visit a Cinemark. It is full-featured and probably smaller and easier to navigate than the Ann Arbor one. The End, no moral.

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