How Do You Know Which Movie Theaters Are Good, And Which Ones Are Bad?

We watched the “Simpsons” movie yesterday at the Regal multiplex at Union Square in New York City, and for the entire movie, the right third of the screen was out of focus. We never got up to complain to management for several reasons:

  • we were being stupid and lazy
  • we were in the center of a full theater and didn’t want the hassle of climbing out and back in
  • we really thought someone else closer to the aisles would eventually do it
  • we thought maybe the lucky anonymous person with the QA remote (previously discussed here) would push the right button

Afterwards, we sought out a manager. Trouble was, there was nobody staffing either of the two customer service desks in the complex. Eventually we went home and emailed the complaint to Regal via their online feedback form.

But this begs the question: why isn’t there a website dedicated to ranking and providing feedback on movie theaters? Some are notoriously bad and you know better than to ever go there; some, however, seem to fluctuate in quality, and if you could cross-reference recent customer feedback on your local multiplexes before deciding where to go, it could dramatically improve the experience.

A search turned up the CMPAA, a consumer organization devoted to getting those awful pre-show ads out of the theaters. Even some studio execs have said publicly that the ads are overkill (although it’s not like they’re attacking their own business model, so they probably considered it an easy win to come down on the side of the audience for once). But the CMPAA doesn’t focus on cleanliness, audio and visual quality, or crowd control, just ads.

Do any readers know of a website or organization like the one we’re describing?

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Meg Marco says:

    Yes, it’s called my first high school boyfriend.

  2. chrispiss says:

    I think out of all the movies I’ve ever seen, only one theater had a problem with the picture getting squiggly at the bottom. When the movie ended, they had CS reps handing out free tickets for the inconvenience. Other than that, every theater I’ve ever been to has basically been the same experience, give or take a few little things here and there.

  3. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’ve been spoiled by my average priced projector and surround sound. When I saw Spider-Man 3 (last movie I bothered to see in the theaters), it was less focused than what I’d see at home, and the volume was so low you could barely hear any softly spoken dialog.

    It’s a shame, if I had more faith in the average priced theaters having focused images and loud sound, I’d have gone to see all those great movies this summer. Sure, I could pay and arm and a leg for an IMAX or DLP screening, but it’s not worth the price (or an hour+ drive each way)

  4. axiomatic says:

    If all theaters were DLP projectors the projector would auto focus itself.

    No I don’t work for TI, I just like the DLP theater tech a lot more than I like movies on film.

    Yes they are expensive, but there is no “stoned projectionist” to screw things up.

  5. Buran says:

    How about the near-universal lack of captioning for the hearing impaired? I’m restricted to a limited number of theaters and a limited number of shows to get rear-window captioned showings. Yet, if I were a paraplegic in a wheelchair they’d happily accommodate me at any theater for any show.

    I tried to get in on a class-action suit once that someone was trying to get together over this, only to hear nothing of it ever again.

  6. erciesielski says:

    I’m not too bothered by the ads. At the movie theaters in my town they actually start playing the ads about 5 minutes before the advertised start time so the trailers start when they are supposed to.

  7. Parttimesaint says:

    If you really want to complain and can’t find a manager, just go to the concession stand and ask for one. That works at every theater I’ve had a problem in.

  8. neuracnu says:

    So long as you keep handing over $8, $10 and $12 to see a movie the week it comes out, unscrupulous theater owners will happily keep shoving ads in your face. Your eyeballs = money. Don’t like it? Find an alternative.

    There is a terrific theater chain around here called St Louis Cinemas that has made it a point not to show ads (aside from trailers) in front of their features and, from what I can tell, they’re the only shop in town that rolls this way. I give them my business whenever I can.

  9. AcidReign says:

        Regal was once a big, up and coming movie chain who bought out our local operation/monopoly: Cobb Theaters. Now, only old people like me know what a Cobbster was. (A 200 oz mega-cup of soft-drink…Yeah, I’m exaggerating, maybe, a little! But you could take the Cobbster cup home and use it for a planter.) Regal introduced stadium-seating to the area, but now they’re kind of on hard times. Only one location remains, it’s not even THX certified. Every theater in my area except the 25-year-old Carmike $1 theater has stadium seating in every venue. As a short person, I believe that this is BY FAR the best advance in movie-going!

        Carmike’s still around, and you can get lattes, espressos and stuff at Carmike, in addition to popcorn and soda. But the coolest place to see movies, in my opinion, is Rave Motion Pictures. Every screen in town at their theaters is ginormous, amazing DLP, with really good, ultra-clear audio (good and LOUD, too!). AND, Rave has the cheapest tickets, AND there’s one less than two miles from my house!

        For watching big special-effects movies, like Spiderman 3, Revenge of the Sith, and Harry Potter, you can’t beat DLP. And it won’t get you motion-sick like IMAX does. Also, I find IMAX to be a little fuzzy, particularly on sections of the screen close to you…

  10. Nekoincardine says:

    I have had consistent luck with theatres in my area, other than the sticky floors. Surely someone can come up with a quick solution to that, right?

    The advertising, however, has horrifically murdered any interest in moviegoing. I can wait the five months for the DVD releases, or the three for it to hit the second-run theatres. (Yay for $3 tickets, $15 LARGE pizzas, lots of legroom. Boo for no arcade, but oh well.)

  11. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @Buran: …was that last line intended to be funny?

  12. Steel_Pelican says:

    My biggest movie theater gripe isn’t fuzzy picture, it’s a management that’s completely passive about noise in the theater.

    It’s been at least a year since I’ve been to a movie and not had to deal with excessive chatter. I’ve walked out of a few, and management has been cooperative about refunding my ticket, but I never ever see a presence in the theater to shut people up.

    It shouldn’t be my responsibility as a movie-goer to keep the theater quiet, it’s the theater’s job to ensure I have a good experience, not just put the picture on the screen and hope a fight doesn’t break out between the “courtesy” and “commentary” crowds.

  13. yg17 says:

    Hell, the only reason I go to the movies anymore is because I get in for free. Family members who work at a theater FTW! If he can’t get me in when it’s convenient for the both of us, I just wait a few months for Netflix to get it to me.

  14. ianmac47 says:

    Ever think of using your cell phone and calling the theater from inside the movie theater?

  15. Alexander says:

    Check out [www.boxofficemojo.com]

    They do movie theater reviews as well. You can submit your own review as well. Not the greatest but it’s a start. As far as movie theaters go, the Arclight in Hollywood is above and beyond everyone else. Big screens, stadium sitting, big seats, plenty of leg room, assigned seating. Plus the lobby area has a cafe/bar which serves remarkably good food. Oh, and no ads either. Straight to previews and then movies. All of this comes at a price of course as tickets are $14 each but there is not better experience around here.

  16. Christy says:

    Is it just me, or is this a regular occurrence with Regal theaters across the board? I’ve had the same problem viewing movies in there, as well as broken a/c, blown-out speakers, and a fire alarm.

  17. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I suppose you can read (and provide) feedback on Yelp. I think poor picture quality will eventually go away. Some of the major theater chains are upgrading to DLP projectors. The quality is somewhat better, but I doubt anyone would notice unless they were really paying attention.

  18. euce says:

    I saw the simpsons movie on Friday and experienced the exact same problem – I assumed/hoped it had to do with the fact that I was sitting towards the front (it was packed)but I guess not – the sound was also way too low.

  19. gibsonic says:

    i took my son to see Transformers on saturday. We went to the matinée and paid the same price to see it in digital format(DLP) as the theater slightly closer to home but that was in traditional film format. Both theaters are the same company (Malco)

    Seeing this movie in Digital only added to the WOW factor. definatley worth seeing high end graphics movies like this in the theater.

    Concerning quality, the first movie i saw in digital was Star Wars EP:II. There were a couple of glitches in sound and picture but the movie theater (Malco) gave out coupons for free movie passes at the end. It was their first attempt at digital as well.

  20. Gari N. Corp says:

    Citysearch has some pretty good, though not always detailed, reviews. Check out these ones on a downtown Brooklyn theater:

    [newyork.citysearch.com]

  21. insightpatch says:

    The theater I was at (Premier in Cambridge, MD) did NOT show ads prior to the showing of the film (Underdog, I have two much-younger brothers).

    However, there was an issue with the movie, and relatively close to the climax, the film suddenly cut off and automatically switched to their pre-movie ads.

    Wait… I’m confusing myself, now… they DIDN’T show ads until the setup broke?

  22. I’ve given up on watching movies in any New York City cinema. Even the “artsy” ones like Angelika and Sunshine are lousy.

    I’ve been spoiled by the Vista in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, the Castro Theater in San Francisco, and Music Box in Chicago – all single-screen cinemas with great seating, real projectionists, and decent management.


    I can’t believe no one has created a high-end cinema brand: all single-screen theaters with assigned seating and top-quality projection and sound. I’d be happy to pay $15 or even $20 a seat for a premium experience.

  23. yg17 says:

    @ianmac47: Actually, now that you mention it, the ability to text in any problems (not call!) wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course theater employees may not know what “omg ppl tlkng n thtr rly anying plzfixkthxbye” means.

  24. jaredgood1 says:

    Ads are the least of my concerns at a theatre. I’d glady pay an extra $5 a ticket for a theater with an honest-to-God bouncer. Between people carrying on full conversations during the movie and random cellphone abuse (if it’s on, it’s abuse), I seriously limit my theatre going.

  25. flyover says:

    Try your local citysearch or yelp. If there aren’t reviews yet, start them!

  26. gabi says:

    @permissionmag: I second the support for the Music Box is Chicago. I went there for the re-release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian and it’s still the best experience I’ve ever had in a movie theater.

    My local multiplex just got DLP, but before that, I would make excuses to drive half an hour out of town just to go to a decent theater. The pictures were blurry, the sound would randomly cut out, entire scenes would have no picture… If I complained, it didn’t matter. They would just give me a coupon for popcorn or something. What’s worse is that every theater in town (there are three, the multiplex, the off-release house, and the drive-in) are all owned by the same company, which is why they can get away with terrible customer service. Ugh. I am so glad I’m moving away…

  27. mac-phisto says:

    i few years back, before ads got to be a real problem in theatres (i sat thru 30 minutes of commercials before 10 previews before the simpsons), there was a state legislator that wanted to mandate show times as being when the movie actually began running.

    everybody laughed at him back them, called him an idiot & wondered why he was wasting taxpayers’ time with silly legislation like that. all the major papers lambasted him on the op-ed pages.

    too bad we all didn’t have his foresight – all i hear now is ppl bitching about paying $10 to see a show only to get bombarded with commercials.

  28. alicetheowl says:

    Ooh, another excuse to mention Cinebarre!

    Seriously, if you’re in Asheville, or you have an Alamo Drafthouse theater in your area, check it out. No ads (unless you count trailers), plenty of staff, people come serve you food and drinks (and alcohol, if you want it), cellphones being on during the movie are banned as well as talking during the film, and kids are highly restricted. (No one under 6 except on select shows, and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.)

    It’s a much different moviegoing experience than the one being described by many above.

  29. bohemian says:

    Our local options are suck, suck and suck. Our Carmike is a total dump, run down, broken worn out seats and the standard fly paper sticky floor. The second run theater is locally owned and its sort of rundown but it is a cheap no frills theater. The best we have in town is the Century theater. Still not anything worth going to though. No DLP, non-stadium seating, no nice amenities at all. The only thing it has going for it is the floors are not sticky and the seats have springs in them so you can rock back a bit in them. But they have slideshow ads, before the motion ads, before the movie previews. They also don’t police anything. Screaming babies, talking loudly, cell phones all go on, they never do anything.

    I would pay a premium to be able to go to a really nice theatre with all the cool new amenities and some strict rules. Real food and a bar would be a plus too. Since that isn’t happening anytime soon my money is going into our home theater and premium cable subscription.

  30. joen05 says:

    I understand that there are many bad experiences, working in a movie theatre, I have seen many of them. Just to let some of you know, there ARE some Premium Cinemas out there that do exactly what many of you want! They serve real food, alcohol, and provide reserved seating (in leather seats!). I also think that texting in complaints is a great idea.. or at least having some system to alert the theater from inside your movie!

  31. RumorsDaily says:

    @Buran: “I tried to get in on a class-action suit once that someone was trying to get together over this, only to hear nothing of it ever again.”

    Hyuck hyuck…

  32. adrock75 says:

    I saw it this weekend as well, the theater was ok but attracts a certain crowd. Like the chick next to me shouting “stupid!” and “oh hell no!” after every….single….gag.
    And then answering her phone and talking on it.

  33. humphrmi says:

    I guess I’ve been lucky at my local theater. But for me, when I’m looking for a review site and all else fails, I’ve got a blog and I post my bad experiences there with the “-Review” in the entry title. Almost always, I find a few hits from google searches hitting those pages later. Yeah, I know, it’s not the best solution.

  34. JDobbs says:

    Wow so many people in favor of the DLP projection. You guys must be seeing things on a small screen or sitting in the back row. I’ve left the box office and gone another theater when i’ve found out my intended movie was being projected digitally. The picture quality on anything much bigger than a 20 foot screen is weak tea as far as i’m concerned. Newer tech doesn’t equal better. Do the research the numbers aren’t there yet and i doubt ever will be for digital projection on the truly big screen.

    More on topic though out here in the Bay Area i’ve sworn off AMC run theaters almost completely and am bracing myself for the inevitable problems that will come since Cinemark bought out our other chain (Century). Quality film exhibition is rapidly becoming a lost art. Yet another reason i keep edging towards moving to LA.

  35. Buran says:

    @AlteredBeast: Nope, but I left it in once I realized the accidental pun to see if anyone would notice!

  36. Buran says:

    @AlteredBeast: Nope, but I left it in once I realized the accidental pun to see if anyone would notice!@mac-phisto: While I agree and think the guy should have pushed harder for the law, I’ve found that arriving 15-20 minutes later works.

    I’ve noticed that some listing sites state something like “feature begins 15 minutes after published showtime”. So, I pick up tickets online via moviewatcher.com (AMC is my local chain; they’re OK in my area plus they do have a (weak) rear window captioning program now), get the service fee waived because my bf has a (forgotten til now) moviewatcher card, go to the theater, show up 10 minutes late, get my ticket from the kiosk, get my rear window caption reflector, and stroll in just as the previews wrap up.

    Since AMC does indeed suck and takes for-freaking-ever to get movies I want to see with captions (though they show trash-to-me movies like the Simpsons captioned right away, sigh) by the time I go to see a Sunday matinee (3.50 cheaper), I don’t have to worry about finding a good seat even though I get there late.

  37. maevro says:

    I saw it in Chelsea on 23rd Street and I like that theater, even the food counter staff are nice.

  38. Jordan Lund says:

    There’s a THX hotline you can call to report theaters as well. If the problem is especially bad the theaters THX certification can be pulled and they can be fined.

    When the first Star Wars prequel came out I saw it at a theater where they neglected to turn on the surround sound. In sequences that were very surround heavy (Podrace) there was NO SOUND at all.

    Theater management was unprepared for a throng of jilted Star Wars fans. First they said nothing was wrong, that the movie was “supposed to sound that way”, then they wanted to give out replacement tickets for any non-starred attraction. When asked if it allowed people to see Star Wars properly they were told no, that was a starred attraction.

    Facing a full riot they did the right thing and gave out replacement tickets valid for any Regal show. I still called the THX hotline and let them know how badly this theater screwed up.

    A few months later the theater closed. It’s a church now.

    [cinematreasures.org]

  39. exkon says:

    I believe a reason a list like this doesn’t exist is generally most people just go to their “local” theater. The same one they always go to…

    I find it hard that most people will drive out of their way to attend a “good” theater.

  40. infinitysnake says:

    Try Yelp…it’s a good place to get locals’ opinions on businesses, including movie theaters.

  41. Snakeophelia says:

    Funny, the last two movies I attended – Ratatouille and Harry Potter – had problems that were apparent during the trailers. The first movie (AMC) was out of focus and the second (Regal) was shaky. Both times I got up, went to the box office, told the staff there, and they immediately got on the walkie-talkie to the projector rooms. There’s no way in hell I’d sit through a two-hour movie if there was anything at all wrong on the screen – my eyes give me enough trouble as it is.

    Now, if a theater near me would just jam cell phones, have at least some kid-free showings, and keep some ushers in the aisles to keep the chatter down, I’d go to more than two movies a year.

  42. arachnophilia says:

    one of my best friends used to manage a movie theatre. whenever i was watching a movie and there was a problem… i had her on speed dial. even if she wasn’t there that they, the problem would get fixed. pronto. and when i went to see a movie with her on the off-hours, you’d better believe they had everything set-up right or she’d bust some heads. she had a habit of making her employees fix things i didn’t even notice.

    sadly, that theatre (also a regal) is pretty bad in terms things like “focus” now that she’s gone. we saw a movie once where sometime during the previews, everything became a rather colorful psychadelic blur, and stayed that way until about 15 minutes through the movie. somebody complained, it just took that long before they did anything.

  43. uricmu says:

    Where I grew up, the local paper published a review of each screening room in each multiplex, so that you could decide whether to see a particular movie at a particular place based on where it was showing. So, for example, you wouldn’t end up seeing Star Wars in the ghetto room.

  44. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @adrock75: Find a manager to toss the rude assface.
    And yes, 1-800-PHONETHX works. It (and me, and a blown subwoofer) had a lot to do with pulling a crappy REGAL CINEMAS certification some years ago.

  45. SmoovyG says:

    @Steel_Pelican: I’m right there with you. The Wife and I walked out on a show Saturday night due to latecomers completely ruining the movie due to teenagers talking on their phone during the movie and then yelling at us and everyone around us when we asked them to cut it out. I posted about it in detail here, and have a call in to Regal Entertainment’s corporate offices to find out what, if any, official stance the company has on dealing with this issue.

  46. jmschn says:

    I was watching Tokyo Drift at a dollar theater and the film reel literally burned away hahaha prompting a stop, fast forward to the reel that was not scorched off and then played it again.

  47. Firstborn Dragon says:

    Well… Last movie I went to was Pirates 3. I VERY rarly go to movies, just because there’s nothing I want to see.

    But this… This was paradise…

    My mom and I had the theater to ourselves. No whinny brats, no phone talkers, nothing.

    Picture was perfect, and sound too.

    Was the local AMC. Mind you we DID go to one of the last showings, but still…

  48. AcidReign says:

        To me, the best time to see a movie in the theater is the first showing, while school is in session, on a weekday like Tuesday. Quite possibly, you’ll have the place to yourself. If there actually IS some yahoo in there on their phone, pull your gun out and start fiddling with it, while giving them the coldest stare you can manage.

  49. Bryan Price says:

    I’m pretty much stuck with AMC where I’m currently located. It’s not bad, just on the small side.

    My home town of Columbus, Ohio still is dominated by AMC, but at least there I had my choice of theater, and the Lennox Theater when it opened was the best experience I’ve ever had. The Easton Town Center AMC, built later and even bigger still doesn’t compare (unless you like to drink wine and beer with your movie). The Lennox is next to Ohio State University, so they get a decent crowd (and I’d say decent workers too). But yeah, there isn’t a site to do any kind of comparing and rating.

  50. G-Dog says:

    A website thats lets you voice your displeasure with a movie theater?

    [www.netflix.com]
    [www.blockbuster.com]
    After going to these sites, I never had another problem with high concession pricing and cellphone talkers during my movies!

  51. rdldr1 says:

    In college I went to this theater nicknamed the “ghettoplex.” It sure was ghetto, with people talking and giving sass throughout the movie, and a drink splatter across the middle of the screen that was not 100% cleaned up. The place had real character, and first run movies were only $5. I would still go to the ghettoplex if I still lived in that neighborhood.

  52. Rachel says:

    Hey Walters, try getting kicked out of the Regal Union Square on two different occasions for them overselling shows (we sat on the floor and got accosted to leave because of a fire hazard).

    As far as The Simpsons Movie, I saw its midnight debut at the AMC Times Square. Halfway through, the biggest theater in Manhattan has a localized blackout, forcing everyone out of the complex with a measly AMC voucher.

    On another note, I saw Pan’s Labyrinth at City Cinemas 86th Street and the framing was off, so everyone had to struggle to read the subtitles. I immediately marched out of the theater and complained to the nearest employee, who was surprisingly apologetic and fixed it promptly.

    Movie theaters suck.

  53. SirNuke says:

    @Bryan Price:

    Yeah, the AMC in Dublin sucks. Expensive, bad picture, bad sound, uncomfortable seats. Even the Cinemark dollar theatre that I go to is better.

    However, the Rave theatre off of Polaris is excellent. Same price as the AMC, but excellent seats, picture and sound.

  54. bnissan97 says:

    I haven’t been to a movie in a theater since 2002. I really like to just sit home myself or with friends. No bad theaters, no people in front of you blocking he screen or rude people and cell phones going off.

  55. alanitech says:

    I live a block from Union Square Theater, and I veto every attempt by my wife to go there (Kip’s Bay — twenty blocks further — rocks!). It amazes me that people line up to see the schlockbusters there, but maybe they just don’t know (but really, I know perfectly well that really they just don’t care).

    So yeah, why can’t IMDB or some context-suitable mega-site add a theater review service?

  56. RandomHookup says:

    That’s why I go to my local college when they have free, late run movies. I know that cell phones will ring, people will open their cell phones in the dark and the brand new projectionist will run the film backwards. At least I get my money’s worth.

  57. DashTheHand says:

    I had the same problem with Spiderman 3 in a Muvico theater. The entire second half of the movie the sound was popping to loud, then quiet, then back to loud, etc. This was at the late, late showing as I don’t want to have to deal with idiots bringing their children to an $18.50 + concession movie.

    I went out to look for someone, anyone to tell about the problem and the entrance area was abandoned. Even after the movie was out there was not one person working there to be seen, not to clean up, nothing. So when I came back to the mall the next day to complain to the customer service booth about the problem, they are trying to not give me a refund and deny there was a problem at all, citing that I should have found someone working to fix the problem. After 15 minutes of arguing that there was no one working out here and them giving me looks like I’m crazy, they finally gave in and gave me a couple of free vouchers.

  58. Mary says:

    The only problem I see with a website like that is that some people have gotten entirely too snobbish about their movie theatres. There was this great theatre near my hometown, it was an old-fashioned one screen downtown theatre. Huge marquee, run by an older couple. I went there at any available oppurtunity, not only was it full of character but it was so cheap two people could go, buy tickets, drinks, popcorn, and candy with a $20 bill and get change back!

    Yet whenever I tried to plan a group of people to go over there, everyone would say “Guh, I hate that place. It doesn’t even have surround sound…” and they would try to tell me how horrible it was because it didn’t fit their movie-snob vision.

    There’s a theatre near me that was built before stadium seating became the norm. I think it’s fantastic, and it’s a full two dollars cheaper than anywhere else. It’s the closest to my house, and it’s surrounded by fantastic restaurants all within walking distance. And yet whenever we plan a movie night, half the people I know say they won’t go there because “it sucks.” They can’t tell me any good reason WHY, they just hate it.

    All that said, there is a website out there for rating local businesses, and it includes movie theatres. I haven’t explored it much myself, but the link is [www.judysbook.com]

  59. mst3kzz says:

    What we really need is a review site for Chinese Food Restaurants. How many times have you had to “test” out different places when you move or travel?

  60. oneTee says:

    @alexander:

    good find!

    i’ve heard that here in NY there’s a theater where you can reserve your actual seat so you don’t have to show up 30 minute before the show….if anyone knows of it, please let me know!

    i hate that i get there early to get my seat, then people show up 10 seconds before and want people to move around so that they can free up 2 seats for them and their boyfriends. so rude…get here 30 minutes prior like i did~!

  61. Apeweek says:

    You know, a video projector can be had for a few hundred, if you keep your eyes open.

    I made a little theater in my basement. The screen is window shade material stretched on a wooden frame. My sound system is mostly leftover stereo components from the 1980′s.

    My sub-$1000 movie theater beats the movie theater experience. Buying DVDs is cheaper than buying movie tickets for the family.

    Sure, it’s a little fuzzy, but so is the picture at the movie theater most of the time.

  62. mac-phisto says:

    @Apeweek: sounds cool, but that doesn’t make a movie theatre. you still need:
    -popcorn cart
    -hot butter dispenser
    -generous selection of candies (mike & ikes, sour-patch kids, junior mints, reese’s pieces & twizzlers are all MANDATORY stock)
    -disgruntled pimple-faced teenager with candy-striped uniform working for peanuts. literally. hint: keep them warm in the popcorn cart.

  63. Elviswasntmyhero says:

    http://www.yelp.com

    Also, If you go through the hassle of: getting dressed, leaving your house, filling your tank with overpriced gas, navigating the warzone that is a movie mega-plex parking lot, buying stale popcorn, finding a stadium seat in a section that smells like a cocktail of vinegar and horse urine, and enduring the pre-teen punk who keeps kicking the back of your chair…

    Then surely getting up to ask if the 17-year-old projectionist wouldn’t mind laying off his joint long enough to adjust the $!*%&@ picture, isn’t going through too much trouble.

    Is it?

    P.S. Regal could give two-shits about customer comments.

  64. mac-phisto says:

    @Elviswasntmyhero: Ffffffffffffffffffffffft. whaddya mean? looks perfectly clear to me. wanna hit this?

  65. quest1962 says:

    @ Permissionmag . . . “I’d be happy to pay $15 or even $20 a seat for a premium experience.”

    I think that is part of the problem. Premium experience is what we should be getting now, for $10-12. Stop going to the movies, and let management know why. Power to the People!

  66. Mary says:

    If you stop going to the movies, then the movies getting made will steadily decline in quality because studios won’t want to take the risk on a film that isn’t a “sure thing” so the film world will become more dire than it already is.

    Yes, movie theatres seem overpriced. But are they really? Has anybody really researched this to see how much of that $10 is profit and how much is the licensing they have to pay for the film, the shipping to get the print, the minimum wage hike to pay the crappy workers, the rent on the building, the air conditioning to keep it too cold…

    I don’t care what the prices are, going to a movie theatre is about the experience and I can’t get that from a DVD.

  67. wHATEver says:

    @JDobbs: “Wow so many people in favor of the DLP projection. You guys must be seeing things on a small screen or sitting in the back row. I’ve left the box office and gone another theater when i’ve found out my intended movie was being projected digitally. The picture quality on anything much bigger than a 20 foot screen is weak tea as far as i’m concerned. Newer tech doesn’t equal better. Do the research the numbers aren’t there yet and i doubt ever will be for digital projection on the truly big screen.”

    I can’t tell from this comment if you’re saying that you walked away from potential DLP screenings at theaters having previously watched a DLP showing and been disappointed in the results, or you’re just dissing it on a theoretical basis without actually viewing the results.

    The newer 4K projectors are capable of producing quite remarkable image quality, and depending on the source material even some older 2K projectors produce very good results on real-world (read: non-test-pattern) material.

  68. Matt says:

    What’s wrong with pre-show ads? They all finish before the start time of the movie. Is the theater just supposed to show a blank screen until showtime?

  69. MadDog23 says:

    My local Regal has been horrible for years. The theater is not that old, but the management seems to have complete apathy in regards to the customers. The concessions are limited, way overpriced, and they never have enough staff to avoid the typical lines of 15+ people per line at busy times. WHY does one person run all over to get each item instead of having runners to the cashiers..

    Picture quality likewise is typically not great, never in focus. I understand this is a common issue as projectionists reduce the tension on the projector to get less wear on the film to make it last longer. Less tension = less focus.

    To mention good experiences (as good as possible without alcohol), I highly recommend the Cinema De Lux in Millbury, MA. Owned by National Amusements, different chain than Showcase thought. Please is huge, super clean, has incredible concessions, player baby grand piano in the lobby, etc. Check it out!

  70. etho says:

    Oh lord, here’s a simple rule for you: if the theatre is owned by Regal, don’t go to it. I went and saw Pan’s Labyrinth, and they had the picture centered wrong on the screen, cutting off the bottom row of subtitles. We left and got a refund. We went to see it again, at a different Regal owned theatre in town, and guess what? The same problem happened there.

    Regal is the only corporate chain theatre in town, so I don’t know about others out there. But yeah. Regal = awful.