My wife and I were in Knoxville again this weekend so I used the opportunity to stop visit another theater. On previous visits, I have stopped at the Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 Imax and RPX. It is a really nice theater, apart from having a fake Imax, that I’ve talked about before.
This time I went to Regal West Town Mall Stadium 9. I was blown away by what a waste of space this theater is. I mean this in more than one sense. I have to assume that this was something else at some point. The theater has a tiny downstairs portion in the actual mall that is really just some posters and a narrowish escalator to funnel you upstairs.
The upstairs is absolutely vast. They have a large empty room at the top of the escalator occupied only by one of their electronic ticketing machines. This is followed by a giant empty hallway, a nice, very large (for a theater) arcade. The arcade is surrounded by vast empty space. Entering the theater proper results in a ticket booth to the left and concessions to the right and a vast, roped off space before each of them. I’m not sure they have to deal with crowds often but they clearly are prepared to. The thing is that we were there on a Friday night for a 7 p.m. show and it was a ghost town.
After purchasing tickets and concessions, we went to the ticket taker and my wife had her tiny (about the size of two hands) purse searched. I had never had this happen before but the Trainwreck shooting was still in mind and Nashville had had a shooting at Mad Max. After passing through, there was another vast empty area in front of theater 1 and another concession stand.
The other concession stand was unmanned with all the lights turned off. Strangely, even though there was no chance they would need the other stand, the Icee machine was running. There were a couple of tables but the space could easily have held a dozen tables with plenty of walking room.
At the Biltmore Grande, my wife likes to spend fifty cents to get a handful of M&Ms from the machine. Here in Knoxville, they had a sophisticated machine that would dispense M&Ms (three varieties) or various other candies at $4 a pop, just insert your money and the cup helpfully provided on either side of the machine. Except of course that neither side of the machine contained cups, just empty spaces where they would go.
You should never arrive at a theater and think ‘my gosh it’s hot in here’. Sadly this was the case at this theater and it didn’t get much cooler during the film. We arrived a half hour early as we usually do to pick a good seat and relax before the movie. Again sadly, we were not allowed to take our seats until 12 minutes before the feature. in the very warm theater.
We were in their main auditorium and it was a little rundown. We normally sit in front of the rails so my wife can put her feet up without bothering other patrons. Instead of a rail, there was a solid wall that was far too close, making things rather uncomfortable.
All in all, not a theater we would go back to.