Well, I haven’t done a theater review lately – mostly because I haven’t been to any new theaters in quite some time. This weekend, my eldest daughter and I had a day out. We did a lot of shopping and had lunch at the delicious and fiery Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack.
The one movie she wanted to see was The Hunger Games – Mockingjay. Unfortunately it had left all of our usual theaters (Epic, Carolina, and Biltmore Grande) so we had to venture to the mall (ugh) and catch it at Regal’s Beaucatcher 7.
The Beaucatcher is a rather haphazard, older theater that shows a lot of signs of having been retrofitted several times over the decades without receiving a complete overhaul. While I enjoyed our time at the movies, it really reminded me of how I take modern movie magic for granted.
The most obvious retrofit were a couple of little metal ramps for wheelchairs (necessary because of the slanted floor). Today’s seating seems much more friendly, working wheelchair spots next to other seats so families can sit together. Here you would be all by your lonesome in a chair.
The other modern conveniences that the theater had were cupholders on the armrests. Remember how terrible it was before these became ubiquitous. You either had to put your cup on the floor between sips or hold the cold, wet cup in your hand for two hours. I know it’s silly but honestly one of the things we look at when we have to shop for a car is proper cupholders.
Unfortunately, the cupholders were all that was new about the chairs. The seats had no give in the back and the cushions had almost no give when you sat down. Once again I had taken for granted comfortable seating at the theater. It’s okay if your seats aren’t the best if you are a second run theater but Beaucatcher is first-run and charges $7.75 for a matinee ticket. The only good thing about their seating was that it is a little wider than modern seating.
As you can see, there is a ridiculous amount of space and there is enough room to move your legs a bit without kicking the seats in front of you (yay!). Even the front row has a good view without having to crane your neck, due to the enormous space in front of the screen. This is perhaps a holdover from when kids would sit in front of the rows but perhaps this design goes back even further to when musicians would play in front of the screen.
With all of the extra floorspace, the screen seems tiny though that is alleviated somewhat when the houselights dim. The speakers only appeared to work in front of the screen. I’m not sure whether they didn’t have any rear speakers or simply weren’t using them but it was disconcerting.
All of this just strikes me as to how spoiled I am. The staff were friendly and helpful. The building is marked United Artists but it is owned and run by Regal. They have giant bathrooms in the lobby (again hinting at a retrofit) and smaller, pocket bathrooms further in. I would certainly go back to Beaucatcher but only if I was unable to spoil myself at my favorites.
“A bad day at the movies is better than a good day at work” – Kevin Smith