By Christian DiMartino
I go to the movies quite frequently, so it should go without saying that I have been to many different theatres in my time. I have been to theatres in Tennessee, California, Kentucky, Illinois, and Florida, to name a few. While some of them were very nice, others well, were not so nice. The same goes for the local theatres. Regal New Albany Stadium 16, the more popular one in the area, is not the best, but it usually provides an enjoyable experience at the movies.
Judging from the overall look of the place, it looks good. I have been going there for over a decade, and I do not think I have ever noticed a messy area. The janitorial staff keeps the place spotless. As for design, it is nothing out of the ordinary. I have been to theatres that have paintings and chandeliers (no joke). Those are absent there, but the theatre does not need them. It works well without it.
Also, having 16 screens works to an advantage, because it provides more of a variety. With that said though, the theatre does not always keep the variety consistent. For example, back in October I wanted to go see Birdman, and they did not start playing it until January. Why? Who knows.
The other problem is that sometimes they play indie movies, but for only a week. Such is the case with Blue Jasmine, which I tried to go see but it only played for a short while. It is perfectly fine to play blockbusters, since that is what the majority of people are there for. But I am not like the majority of people, and I want my Oscar bait.
All of that aside, the actual movie-going experience is quite nice. The seats are comfortable, and if you are alone in the row you are sitting in, then you can move the arm rests up and lie down. Also, the sound is extremely loud and incredibly close (movie reference), which is a good thing or a bad thing (it is a bad thing if you are actually watching Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). For the most part, I like it, especially in action movies and horror movies. Horror movies need to be seen there, because most of the scares come from the thunderous sound.
The theatre has its many perks, but its biggest flaw is the prices. I remember back in 2005, the matinee price was roughly $5. I understand that prices have to raise a little, but now matinee prices are about $8.25, with the late night shows being $11.00. Back in 2012, the matinee prices were $7.50, which might be steep as well but it was fine by me. Now, not only have the prices changed, but the matinee shows end at 4 p.m. They used to end at about 6 p.m, so if one tries to get there for the cheaper showing, then the chances are slimmer. The matinees at the Baxter Avenue Theatre, which is a further drive, are roughly $6.
On top of all that, the concessions prices are outrageous. I have no idea what the prices are. All I know is that I would never pay for them. Luckily though, even paying for some of these things is a good thing sometimes.
Why? Beginning in 2013, Regal New Albany Stadium 16 started offering rewards cards. Basically, every dollar that you spend is a point, and after you get a certain amount of points, then customers are rewarded with free drinks, free popcorn, and even free tickets. The rewards cards are absolutely wonderful. People constantly ask me how much I spend at the movies, and to be honest, I have no idea. The rewards cards are very nifty if you are a frequent movie-goer, like myself.
So, while it is not the cheapest theatre around, it is a decent one. I have been going there for over a decade, and even though the ticket prices increase every year, it will not stop me from going. Why? Well, I am a movie lover. It is what I do.