LIVE @ Bloomfield Silky's: C-. 1 toilet & urinal w a bootleg cardboard out of order sign inside it. The door locks. Everything is manual. Fairly clean.
Additional Note: These small bathrooms with a single toilet and urinal in addition to a locking door always confuse me. Take, for example, last night. I went to use the restroom and the door was unlocked. I walked in, and there was a man at the sink washing his hands. Due to the small size of the bathroom, I didn't know if I should start doing my business or if I should wait for him to leave. I stood there awkwardly holding the door half-open, until I finally diffused the situation by asking the guy his opinion on whether or not the door should be locked/two men should be in such a bathroom at the same time. He responded with, "I think they just want you to get drunk enough that you don't care anymore." Touche.
(Pictures taken after the original live post. Therefore, no bootleg cardboard sign is visible.)
I attended a free advance screening of "Hot Tub Time Machine" tonight at the South Side Works Cinema this evening, and I'd have to say that my visit to the restroom before the show far outweighed the film itself. That's not to say "Hot Tub Time Machine" wasn't a funny movie, because it was. Instead, this should be read as a statement of just how great the men's room at the theater really is.
It's hard to get a public restroom right. The sheer number of people who pass through--especially in an establishment as crowded as a movie theater--make upkeep and general sanitation extremely difficult. As a janitor, usher and manager at a movie theater for three years, I understand the challenges inherent in maintaining a restroom frequented by patrons who combine large quantities of soda, popcorn and candy. In some cases, occasional discrepancies in cleanliness can almost be expected and excused at movie theaters.
That said, the restroom at the South Side Works Cinema was immaculate. The artistically tiled floor was scrubbed clean, the stainless steel waste bins, urinal dividers and stalls were polished and gleaming, and the countertop -- though a somewhat cheesy red faux marble -- was clearly attended to with frequency.
The sinks themselves are a hip deviation from the norm with deep, bowl-shaped basins of (again, polished) stainless steel. The faucets and soap dispensers are both automatically operating, as are the urinals and toilets. The restroom offers an automatic hand dryer in addition to paper towels, which can be found in dispensers mounted in both the countertop and wall. The hand dryer is your standard white utilitarian model, and it would have been nice to see something in stainless to match some of the other features. Still, one can't argue with functionality.
In addition to the mirror above the sinks, there is a full-length mirror mounted against the far wall to provide for proper outfit inspection before that big movie date. I noticed some slight graffiti in the upper right hand corner of the countertop mirror, though I did not have a chance to see whether it was scratched into the glass or drawn on. Why do people have to go and ruin a good thing like that?
Also, I felt as though the walls of the stalls rose a bit higher from the ground than is standard. Not so much as to diminish privacy, but the feeling of enclosure may not be as great as usual when using these stalls.
Anyway, very minor complaints aside, I cannot recommend this restroom highly enough. Be sure to visit it to see for yourself before or after your show -- or during, if it's a dud.
(Note: Pictures taken after original post. There was no out of order stall at the time of the review.)
LIVE New Amsterdam. Grade: C+. Walls black, urinal out of order, stall has a 2nd urinal in addition to toilet, nice new sink/mirror & great water temp control.
Additional notes: Chris mentioned that he had trouble getting hot water from the faucet, so the water temp control may be iffy. The broken urinal actually had a fairly artistically written sign hung over it, but the sign was eventually removed by a patron and people just went ahead and used the thing anyway. Sometime after midnight someone threw up in the second urinal, clogging it for the duration. This is a definitely head-scratcher, as the toilet is about one foot to the left of said urinal.
Also, I find it hilarious that the ancient and non-functioning condom dispenser was not removed during bathroom renovations, but was instead just covered in black paint like everything else.