Friday This ‘n’ That – The Sinister Fandango

“A bad day at the movies beats a good day at work” – Kevin Smith

I have a really wonderful life but I’m an introvert and periodically I need alone time to recharge my batteries. Usually I get a day a week which is great but it’s been several weeks so I’m a little antsy. Thankfully, today is my day off.

As much as I’ve made my home into a theater, I still get a real sense of comfort from going to the movies in an actual theater. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps I should work harder on making a cozier theater.

Fandango

I normally only use Fandango with special offers as they charge that pesky customer fee on every transaction, even on their own promotions (EXCEPT for you lucky AMC Stubs members, I’d sure like it if Regal Crown Club would follow suit). Well, they are currently offering a $5 concession gift card with purchase of a ticket to Sinister 2.

Sinister 2

Apparently I’ll go see a bad movie if you offer me FREE grub to go with it. Woohoo! Mini corn dogs ($5.50) for dinner! And a drink from my Regal Crown Club card! Maybe it won’t be so bad. I’ll probably go see a second film with my soda refill.

Monday This n That – Hulu and AMC vs Regal

Hulu

 

* Hulu just sent me a notice that their subscription service will no longer be called Hulu Plus. Instead it will just be Hulu. No other changes, just a slight rebranding.

AMC Theater

 

* Since Regal is trying to come up with a rewards program that is more compelling than AMC Stubs (and presumably charge for it once it gets off the ground, again a la Stubs), AMC is upstaging Regal’s wonderful recliner program.

AMC Recliner

Introducing Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime: “Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime combines the most powerful image and sound technologies with cutting-edge, reserved recliners.” I loved the Regal recliners in Charlotte and enjoyed the reserved seating (you can buy tickets online and always save your favorite seat without waiting in huge lines). I haven’t had the opportunity to try the AMC power recliners but they are supposed to ‘pulsate with the action’ so a low bass effect, perhaps?

AMC has the program active at AMC North Point Mall 12 in Georgia, AMC BarryWoods 24 in Missouri, and AMC Deerbrook 24 in Texas. Additional rollouts are expected shortly in California, Kansas, New York, Texas, and Illinois.

Theater Rewards Programs – Regal, Epic, Carolina, Carmike, AMC

I love rewards programs. Most theater chains have rewards cards but not all are created equal, and per usual, each one has its strengths.

Epic Rewards

 

Epic rewards program looks wonderful. Rewards are every 40 points and are large size not small. Get to 480 points and you get a night out at the movies. Awesome right? Well in practice not so much. You can only earn a maximum of 12 points a day and NO points at all for concession purchases. Their ad states you can check the Refreshment Menu for additional points but I have NEVER seen additional points. The movie ticket reward is limited by quite a few restrictions. At absolute best, you can receive a reward every fourth visit.

Epic also offers cardholders a promotional size popcorn for $2 on Thursday. I find this size to be quite adequate for one person.

Regal Crown Club

 

Regal’s Crown Club was the standard for a long time. They recently moved from giveaways at 40 point intervals to 50 point intervals. They have the same popcorn/soft drink/movie ticket rotation, although they never give out a night at the movies and all of their rewards are small size. On the other hand, you can earn up to 20 points a day purchasing tickets and up to 10 points a day at concessions. They also often have particular movies that grant bonus points. This means that you can get a reward every second visit (or about every third if you go solo).

Regal also has special rewards. There is a featured candy for $2 every Monday, $2 popcorn on Tuesday, and 5 bonus credits for Thursdays.

*Caveat: while Regal’s stated system seems nice, I have been to 7 movies and many concession purchases lately without receiving a single reward. I can only imagine that my card is locked for some reason and I intend to speak to them next visit but currently my card does not appear to be earning points. I don’t know if this is just my problem or if this is a common occurrence. It certainly has dampened my enthusiasm for Regal.

Carolina Cinemas

 

Carolina Cinemas has a hilarious super secret program called the Carolina Club Card. I say super secret because the counter advertisement merely tells you that you can earn popcorn, soda, and movie tickets but not how many points you can earn in a day. Many other particulars are left vague. The flyer and card both say full rules & regulations are available online at carolinacinemas.com but there is NO mention of any kind on their website that they even have a rewards program. I do manage to earn a fair amount there so I have to assume it is on the same basic schedule as Regal and Epic but it would be nice to know.

I never go to our Carmike theater after having several customer service issues there many years back. There is little need as Asheville is stuffed with theaters. I looked up the Carmike Rewards program. You can earn up to 20 points each for ticket purchases and concessions over a three hour period. This is fairly generous but rewards are only given at the 80 point intervals. Yikes!

We don’t have an AMC theater in our area. I’ve heard that their Stubs program, while having an annual fee, is the best in the business, offering plenty of opportunities to earn items and granting upgrades.