Thornton Place Stadium 14 Cinemas & IMAX

301 N.E. 103rd Street
Seattle, WA 98125  –  general  –  times  –  online tickets

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Movie-going can be an anxious experience for wheelchair travelers because of all the uncertainties we can find in a new movie theater.   The Thornton Place Regal Cinemas makes going to a movie on wheels easy.  There are 14 theaters plus an IMAX at this complex but rarely 14 different movies showing.  Often you can see the same movie in several different ways—IMAX-ified, 3D, or old-school.  The theater also shows operas from the New York Met, ballet, and other performances at scheduled times on the big screen.

The movie theaters at Thornton Place are located in a courtyard surrounded by apartments, condos, and a retirement community.  In addition to the movie theater, the courtyard is home to a range of restaurants including Thai, Japanese, burger, crepes & tea, and subs, making it easy to have lunch or dinner before or after a show.  Outdoor seating is available in the courtyard, as well.  The courtyard is curb-free, so it is easy to navigate in a wheelchair.

Parking:  There are handicapped spaces at the courtyard level.  These super-convenient spaces are often full, but there are other handicapped spaces in the underground parking lot below the theater and easy access from them to the elevator that takes you up to the courtyard level.

Entrances:  The ticket line at the courtyard level can be long, but it moves quickly.  You can also purchase tickets at a kiosk or order them ahead.  There are no stairs at the front door and an automatic door opener for those of us who need one.  The button opens the right half of a double door set—something I never quite understand—but patrons are great about helping with the second door, if needed.   Once inside, a very slow elevator will take you up to your movie level.  You can purchase any number of foods that are bad for you right there by your theater.  Entry to the theater area is ramped.
If the double doors to your theater space are closed, they can be a little challenging to open, but not impossible, and it is a short distance from the door to the handicapped seats.

Seating:   Each theater area accommodates several wheelchairs, offering wide wheelchair spaces and seats next to them for one or more friends.   These wheelchair spaces are about 12 rows up from the front of the screen.  If you hate sitting close, these seats may bother you, but for me, they are the best in the house:  close enough to make you feel inside the action but far enough away so you don’t hurt your neck.

Restrooms:   Restrooms are conveniently located just outside the bank of theaters on your floor.  Next to the women’s restroom is a family restroom.  It is huge, easy to get in and out of, and roomy enough to have a friend assist you, if needed.  The grab bar is to the left of the toilet, and the toilet paper is mounted in a huge container that is a little difficult for people with bending problems (like me) to reach.  If no one is using the restroom, it’s a fast in-and-out for a mid-movie bathroom break.

Photos of interior space online:  No

Photos of entrances online:  No

Reservations taken:  No

What the wheelchair pusher has to say:  Everything is easy to do.  It would be nice if the automatic door entry button would open both doors.  The family bathroom is wonderful.  The theaters have really comfortable seats for friends and easy wheelchair access.

Overall:  Five wheels=easy access for wheelchair users.

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