Tuesday, March 9, 2010

South Side Works Cinema

South Side Works Cinema
425 Cinema Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Grade: A+

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.)

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