Glendale College's Student Magazine
Thursday November 23rd 2017

Review: the MGN 5-Star Theater and Frame 128

MGN ExteriorFor many years, the centerpiece of American life was the television, where families gathered together glued before the big screen with popcorn and TV dinners. As technology advanced, so to did the “home entertainment system” which was then subsumed by individually tailored media. The central hearth effect of the television was replaced by social media — iPad, texting messaging, iPhone, tweeting, Facebook and Instagram, not to mention pervasive video games. It’s enough to make one nostalgic for “one family, one television,” as in the days of yore.

Fortunately, the MGN Five Star Cinema is a one-stop destination for families looking for a place to connect through entertainment. Glendale is becoming a more European-style city, taking advantage of the beautiful weather to promote walking over driving, enjoying outdoor restaurants with friends and family, and the influence of other cultures has helped the dynamic of Glendale’s outdoor dining and shopping experience. The MGN Five Star Cinema is at the crest of that trend.

Hidden away on Maryland Avenue, a block off Brand Boulevard, this entertainment complex is breathtaking. It combines cinemas, bars and restaurants in a luxurious setting. There are 10 cinemas to choose from, but unlike other multiplexes, the emphasis here is on quality and elegance.

“Walk in this classy place and you instantly become classier,” promises Araks Terteryan assistant director of publicity. “Even by wearing just jeans and T-shirt, you become classy, once you hit MGN.”

Terteryan follows her boast with facts. MGN is a European-based international movie theater conglomerate, with 20 locations in Europe. The emphasis is on luxury and the Glendale location is considered the company’s flagship. The Hollywood mystique, being the entertainment capital of the world, adds to the onus on making this location the best of its kind.

To achieve that, MGN started with the tech: The sound system is powered by top-of-the-line QSC-Powered Dolby Digital 7.1 Surround Sound. The movie is screened by the Barco projection system with 4K resolution for a brighter and crisper picture quality than is found in most theaters.

On that foundation, luxurious elements set the MGN apart. The seats are wide, luxurious, plush leather with fully reclining features to relax your feet, with small tables alongside to wine and dine while enjoying the movie. Seats are reserved, which allows patrons to be late or extra early and not worry about getting “bad” seats. This is ideal for date nights when a patron wants every detail to be perfect.

Service is at the tip of your finger. A push of a button allows you to communicate with your server. Within minutes, a member of the wait staff will arrive to ask what you would like to eat and drink to provide you like a fine dining experience.

Prepare for a completely different dining experience than is available in other theaters. To be sure, MGN still offers popcorn, candy, hot dogs and soft drinks. These are also served tableside. The twist is a gourmet menu created specifically for MGN. There are 32 items to choose from, such as their signature apple tart, pasta primavera and babaghannoush, and artisan pizza, and salads. Special care was used to select menu items to be tasty but also to not overwhelm with strong odors.

The restaurant, Frame 128, provides full dining service as well as tableside movie dining, and offers California cuisine including farm fresh organic ingredients, and items for multi-ethnic palates, vegans, vegetarians and kids. Chef Kareem Shaw is particularly taken with the farm-raised lamb and the soup. “Amazing soup is when passion and love combine with good ingredients,” he says.

After the movies, the MGN has two full theme bars, one blue and one red an outdoor patio, a cocktail bar and it features private indoor closed bar service, for those who prefer a more intimate atmosphere. There are also musical entertainments – a jazz band and live music Thursday nights, and DJs and dancing on weekends in the MGN lounge.

For a low-key visit, drop by during the lunch break for a cup of coffee and to connect to the WiFi.

For soccer fans, the MGN is offering a special event. From now through July 21 MGN Five Star Cinema presents FIFA World Cup Brazil, billed as “The place to watch games on the big screen.”

With something for everybody and also a central focus, family night at the MGN is even better than TV at home.

The MGN Five Star Cinema is within walking distance of the Alex Theatre, Glendale Galleria, and Americana, and is next to Pierre Garden. For drivers there is the parking at the Market Place free for the first two hours. Valet parking is also available, so patrons needn’t worry about finding a parking spot, being late to a movie or missing the beginning of a soccer match with friends and family. Settle in with a glass of beer and popcorn, or premium wine and signature appetizers.

  • MGN 5 Star Cinema is located at 128 No. Maryland Ave., Glendale, CA 91206
  • For Reservations, call the direct line at (888) 501-0102. Walk-ins are welcome.
  • Movie tickets are $16.75 to $19.25. A $3.50 surcharge is added for those who wish to order food.

About Rachel Melikian

Rachel Melikian is a former recipient of the ASGCC Woman of the Year award which acknowledges exceptional leadership skills and involvement in the campus community. She has a passion for philosophy.

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