The Laemmle Grande 4 Plex is a hole-in-the-wall movie theater that offers no perks, the popcorn is mediocre, the floors are sticky from mystery goo, there's no free, nearby parking, and we've seen cleaner bathrooms in bus stations in New Delhi. But what makes this movie house our No. 1 place to watch a new release is simply its lack of lines or crowds. It's also much cheaper than most fancier theaters around town, at $8.50 ($7 with student ID) per ticket. Regularly, even on the weekends, we arrive 10 minutes before the new release begins, walk right up to the counter for our mediocre popcorn and soda, and then plant ourselves down in any of their many rickety old seats, usually wherever we like. On rare occasions the theater is full. It was bursting for Indiana Jones last spring but quiet for The Hangover during the summer, with only seven people seated. If you hate crowds, don't mind paying a small fee to park and are willing to hold the bathroom stall door shut because it doesn't close right, this place is for you. Actually it's just for us, and the few other daredevils who don't mind its aforementioned, very minor, drawbacks, all without the throngs who line up at ArcLight or Mann's Chinese on weekend nights. 345 S. Figueroa St., L.A. (213) 617-0268.

—Christine Pelisek

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