Friday 5 September 2008

Surface Sheen Can't Hide All of Aloma Cinema Grill Toilet's Grimy Underbelly

Aloma Cinema Grill
2155 Aloma Ave
Winter Park, FL USA

Where is it?

Enter through the front door. With your back to the door, you'll see a ticket booth to your right and a hallway wrapping around the booth and back to the rear of the place on your right.

Follow that hallway back. It will turn right at the end of the lobby, passing the place's two movie theaters (on your left). Just past them, on the back wall, is the entrance to the toilets.

What's it like?

This is a nifty little movie-going spot (part of a nationwide chain) that essentially lets you watch a movie is a restaurant-like environment. That means that while you're watching, a waitress will take your order and deliver your meal (food is extra to the cost of admission, of course).

The theater itself has been around for several years (at least more than 15) and its current incarnation is the cleanest I've ever seen. And the food is pretty good in terms of quality -- bar food essentially, but also much better than what it was like some years back. They offer a decent burger and pizza here, and some cold and well-poured beers and other good nosh.

Service is friendly, prices are decent and the seats and movie-watching facilities are comfortable. Not the greatest place to partake of the latest in sight and sound advancements, but for a laid back, comfy, unpretentious movie-going experience, this place can't be beat.

The bathrooms are nothing life-changing but are decent enough. They look very nice on the surface, with small blue tile (with white highlight lines) on the floors and the lower walls and light blue paint on the upper walls. Lighting is bright, and the counters are blue, as are the urinal and commode dividers, making, which in turn make the place seem brighter.

On the flip side, the bathroom here is also a bit small and feels overstuffed -- no doubt to accommodate as many people who will rush here once their film of choice ends than anything else. Still, they pack a lot into this little space -- not as bad as, say, Club Quarters Philadelphia or at Petro Palace lobby or the SkyBar in St. Petersburg (this place is infinitely more roomy than those) -- it's still a tight fit, and I can only imagine how tight it gets when the post-movie crowd rolls in. (I visited before my movie started and had the place to myself.)

In a stretch of only about 15 feet, you'll find three stalls, including one handicapped one in the back right, two urinals against one wall and a three-station sink opposite those urinals. Not exactly a lot of privacy, if you think about it.

Still, what I found was pretty clean and odor free, at least on the surface. Closer inspection showed some wear and tear around the sinks and soap dispensers and fixtures, as well as some strange black streaks on some of the toilet bowls (on the sides, not inside) -- as if they had been kicked repeated by people wearing black shoe polish. What with that?

Also, there were some noticeable rust stains inside the toilet bowls and in one of the urinals -- time for some bleach, don't you think?

Marks out of 10:

6. A good toilet though some of the place's wear and tear is bleeding through the surface sheen.

Comments to the Management:

Looks like some porcelain whitener needs to be used during the shine process, and it may be time to touch up some of the counter sealants at the vanity. Otherwise, not bad.

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