A new Regal movie theater just opened not far from where I live so I decided to take a trip to see this 10 screen cinema, one of the screens being an RPX (only the 2nd RPX auditoriums in New York State). RPX stands for Regal Premium Experience, which is supposed to have better picture and sound quality than IMAX, complete with a giant, IMAX-size screen. I saw “Hugo” on the RPX screen, but this one is much smaller than the RPX in NYC I’ve been to and smaller than every IMAX screen I’ve ever seen. In fact, it was just about the same size as other screens in this same, new theater.
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The lobby and ticket booth are also small, but the staff on this day was doing a nice job moving people right along, and the theater, in general, is colorful and clean. But with so many big movies out (and only 10 theaters) films such as “The Muppets” and “Arthur Christmas” were only on one screen. That night “Muppets” and a “Twilight” shows were sold out, turning families away. You’d have to think many will consider going somewhere else with more choices the next time.
The theaters themselves are also small – ranging from 150-300 seats. The RPX theater holds 300 and the picture and sound are fantastic. The seats are leather, and they’re comfortable, for about the first hour or so. Then you start to get fidgety. And fidgeting in leather seats creates noise. And leather seats cost money. But with a ticket price of $15.50 for 3D movies in RPX, the theater will make that money back quickly.
One of the most puzzling things about the design of the theater are the railings attached to the aisle seats, which leave you only 16-inches or so of space to get into the row and to a seat. This will pose a problem for heavier people and folks carrying food who will have to squeeze-in sideways.
And the seats in the first few rows on the floor and even futher up on the sides provide terrible views of the screen, but that’s also the case in most theaters.
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Overall, this new Regal theater is nice, and I understand that the company wanted the re-model completed in time for the holiday releases. But whenever I go to a brand new, state-of-the-art theater I hope to be blown-away and this time the experience was a little underwhelming. C+.