Regal’s New Crown Club Card

Regal Cinemas

 

I spent the past weekend at a conference in Atlanta with my wife and granddaughter. I hate Atlanta – too hot, too many people, too much traffic – but while I was there, I got to try out Regal’s new pilot program for their rewards card. It is currently in Beta and I am not sure what other markets it is in (certainly not our Asheville one).

I have to say both that I hate it and that I cannot wait until it comes to Asheville. Periodically, theaters and stores will revise their rewards programs in order to ‘serve you better’. This is typically market speak for we are taking away what you liked about our program and giving you something far worse and cutting your benefits but we’ll make it shiny so you won’t notice (looking at you Best Buy).

Their current program gives you a point per dollar spent, with a lot of caps and restrictions, namely a maximum of 20 box office credits per day (two tickets at most theaters will put you over that) and only a handful of credits for concessions. Every 50 points nets you something (small popcorn, small soda, movie ticket) in a set rotation.

The new program removes the point caps and restrictions (nice) and allows you to choose your own reward (incredibly nice) but makes those rewards much more expensive (gotcha!). It changes the point system to one you can spend and makes it a point per penny instead of per dollar so switching makes you think you are getting a lot more.

What makes the new program worthwhile? Well, in addition to the now overpriced FREE drinks, popcorn, and movies, you can use your points for movie tchochkes! The most expensive thing they had were 27″x40″ movie posters of current and upcoming features for 11,000 points. Some tchotchkes were already sold out like Jurassic World pins and a pretty nifty Mad Max backpack.

I would much rather earn points for tchotchkes than continue to get FREE popcorns that I save for my wife, small sodas that I have to pay to upgrade, and movie tickets where I’m going to go to the movie anyway.

The new program also had bonus points for daily movie visits at three different levels of membership (a la the new Coke Rewards program). Thankfully unlike Coke, the program does not rely on social media to up your level. On your sixth visit, you get Emerald status (250 extra points per day you attend I think). On your 20th visit of the year, you get the highest level which nets you 1,000 bonus points per day you attend. I will say that the points plus the highest bonus level points did not equal as fast as you earn rotational rewards now.

Sadly, while I was in the program for seeing a movie in Atlanta, as soon as I went to a movie on my return to Asheville, it switched me back to the regular rewards program and now I have no access to the beta test. /sigh if only I had spent those points before seeing Jurassic World.

It was fun while it lasted and I look forward to the corporate-wide rollout. With a good enough set of movie merchandise, I could see making Regal my go to destination for the movies.

Regal Franklin Square Stadium 14

Well I got to check another theater off my ‘let’s visit every theater everywhere’ list. The girls were all shopping at some vast fabric shop in Gastonia, NC and were nice enough to drop me at the only theater in town, the Regal Franklin Square Stadium 14.

Franklin Square Stadium

There is not much to say here. Franklin Square Stadium 14 is located along the main shopping street in Gastonia (Franklin, duh) and you have to drive through a very crowded shopping area to get here. My wife was lucky enough to eat at Popeye’s as all of ours closed up years ago.

Franklin Square

 

The exterior and interior show some use but I wouldn’t call it rundown, just older than Asheville’s spiffy Biltmore Grande. The interior is standard Regal as are the concession options. The concession area is an island bifurcating the theater. Prices are $8.10 for matinee but they are the only game in town.

As noted in the name, seating is stadium style. I don’t know why it took so long to come along but now I find it annoying when a theater doesn’t have stadium seating (or a proper layout). Theater doors are organized to block light – another modern innovation taken for granted.

Birthday Party

 

The Franklin Square theater was the first one that I have seen that details their birthday party options. All the other theaters have them vague and nebulous. Any one I’ve looked at has been utterly ridiculous in price (looking at you Carolina Cinemas). I do wonder with the huge disparity in price ($9.50 more per kid than adult) how they would feel with having a mostly adult party.

Regal Classic Film Series – Bonnie and Clyde, The Matrix, The Shining

Regal TheaterWhile my favorite local movie theater, Carolina Cinemas, shows a classic movie every month in their downstairs theater, this is unusual. Demand for returning movies must be high though as Regal has just announced their classic film series. To find out if your theater is going to play these, the participating list can be found here. Shows are at 2 p.m. on Sundays and both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde will be shown on Sunday October 13th and Wednesday October 16th.

The Matrix

The Matrix will be shown on Sunday October 20th and Wednesday October 23rd.

The Shining will be shown on Sunday October 27th and Wednesday October 30th.

Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry will be shown on Sunday November 3rd and Wednesday November 6th.

JFK will be shown on Sunday November 10th and Wednesday November 13th.

Risky Business will be shown on Sunday November 17th and Wednesday November 20th.

Regal Crown Club members receive 50 extra credits for seeing any three films in the series and 100 extra credits for seeing all six. Extra credits will be awarded at the conclusion of the series. This is quite a lot of bonus points for card members.

Strangely all six films chosen are adult in nature, i.e. all are rated R, so I clearly won’t be taking adorable granddaughter to these.