The Magic of the Cinema meets Gourmet Dining

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Cinepolis Lobby | Perry Chen

Photo by Zhu Shen

It was a long day at school on a Monday in December, and there was nothing better than going to the movies to relax after some homework; only this isn’t your typical movie theater, it’s the Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas in Del Mar, which I visited recently for a photo shoot for the Pacific San Diego magazine December feature.

Cinepolis gives the usual movie theater experience an upgrade to luxury. Today I had 2 special guests- my writing teacher, Mrs. Hinton who first told mom and me about Cinepolis, and my dad, who rarely comes to the theater with mom and me. Mom and I want my dad to see our favorite movie of 2011 “Hugo” with us here.

Afterwards, I spoke with the managing director Carlos Wellman and interviewed him over strawberry ice-cream. Carlos told mom and me that Cinepolis opened in Del Mar in July 2011, and business has been great. Two more locations in La Costa and Laguna Niguel will open next. Carlos gave me his opinion on movies too. He thought that 3D might just be a passing fad, and would go away in a few years. Carlos’s thoughts made me think of Hugo, where the Lumiere Brothers, who invented the movies in the late 1800s, believed that films would not have much future either. I wonder what they would say if they saw Hugo in Cinepolis today!

Carlos asked me for my opinion about 2D vs. 3D movies. I think that 3D will be very popular in the future though, because it’s all the rage these days, although I personally enjoy animation films in 2D better. But, I don’t think that 3D is just a passing trend because 3D films are more popular with audiences and more films are being made in 3D that became big box office hits (including Avatar and Toy Story 3), especially animation. DreamWorks Animation and Pixar studios will make all their future animation features in 3D. Will 3D films lose their magic, or will they dominate the cinema of the future? Only time will tell.

Speaking of 3D films, I am making my next animation “Stix” in 3D, after making my first, “Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest,” in 2D using Toon Boom Studio software on a Wacom tablet. My parents just bought a 42-inch 3D HDTV for the holidays, an upgrade from our old 27-inch 2D TV they bought when I was born. A major reason for buying this 3D TV is for me to work on “Stix,” where I will use it as a monitor. The film is about a young boy who finds a magical pencil, and anything he draws in the air comes to life! The boy draws his own adventure using his creativity and imagination. Next month, I will announce our first corporate sponsor to my 3D animation. Mom Zhu Shen will be my producer again, but I will write, animate, and direct the film myself!

Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas was a “Perrific!™” experience for me and my family. The cost of movie tickets is about $6-7 more than in other regular cinemas, well worth it in my opinion. I rate the theater and dining experience 4.5 starfish out of 5. If you have a special occasion and are looking for a delicious dinner and an entertaining movie all at once, this is the theater for you! Lots of holiday movies are playing at Cinepolis, check listings and food menu on its website:

Perry Chen | Community Contributor | The Carmel Valley Life

Perry Chen

Perry Chen and Zhu Shen are Carmel Valley San Diego community residents and are a unique son-mother team of talent and aspirations. Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film/ entertainment critic & animator, artist, speaker, and entertainment personality. He started writing movie reviews at 8 using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, under the guidance of his mom Dr. Zhu Shen and his 3rd grade teacher Ms. Harris. Perry’s debut on the CBS Evening News in 2009 made him a national sensation. He has been featured extensively on local, national, and international media, including NPR, Fox, CNN, NBC, The Guardian, The China Press, and many more. He has interviewed prominent filmmakers at film festivals, red carpet premieres, and press junkets. He won a prestigious “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club in 2010 as its youngest member. Perry currently writes movie reviews for the Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews website with a combined readership of over 2 million worldwide.

Zhu Shen | Community Contributor | The Carmel Valley Life

Zhu Shen

Dr. Zhu Shen’s love for the movies started when she was a young girl, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution where watching movies was the only entertainment available to the masses. Her journey to become a filmmaker took a convoluted path. She studied medicine at Peking Union Medical College before coming to the US and earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Colorado, and then an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School. She is a producer of the upcoming documentary feature “Average Joe on the Raw,” about journey into raw food and health. Dr. Shen is also an award-winning biotech executive, author, speaker, China business expert featured on national and trade media including CBS, Fox, Business Week, Pharmaceutical Executive, and more. She has worked at IBM, Bayer, Chiron, Immusol, and is the CEO of BioForesight, consulting on cross-Pacific life science business. *Photos of Perry Chen and Zhu Shen by Brian Bostrom


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