This is going to be an absolutely whiny post so feel free to skip past. My favorite local theater is Carolina Cinemas. They have a great combination of mainstream and arthouse films, fantastic food, good customer service.
Lately though I haven’t had a clear cut winner. This is a shame as I go to a ton of movies during the summer. I would love to have a theater that had all the things I look for.
EPIC: My closest theater is great as it is only fifteen minutes away. They have nice screens and sound systems. Their prepared food is almost exclusively microwaved and they have the world’s worst pretzels. They often have nice promotional plastic cups. They accept DealFlicks but not Fandango and have a $6 Tuesday special (Sony and Warner excluded).
CAROLINA: Their screens and sound are quite good but just a touch below Regal and Epic. Their fresh, locally sourced food is a mixed bag but even a mixed bag easily beats the microwaved food of the other two. Soda refills are FREE for all sizes and are located outside the counter. They are about to accept Dealflicks but do not accept Fandango and they have a $5 Wednesday promotion (Sony excluded).
REGAL: State of the art stadium theater seating equals Epic. Their upcharged RPX theater is the best in the area. The upcharge is annoying but also means that it is less crowded. They also have the only Coke Icee available. They accept Fandango but not DealFlicks. They also have a children’s movie program in summer where the other two do not.
“The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy contains more than two hours of additional footage not seen in the theatrical versions of the original Swedish films.Amassing a total of 9 hours of story content and presented in 6 parts, this complete version of the international hit series restores notable characters and subplots from Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novels.”
For those mystery lovers with a lot of time on their hands, the extended versions of all three of the Stieg Larsson novels are now available on instant Netflix. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie-length versions and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to catch these extended ones. Strong warning on content if you haven’t seen these as there is much disturbing material present.
* Warner has increased their delay on new release titles being available for rental on Netflix to a whopping 56 days.
* Not surprisingly Disney is considering adopting the delay of new releases to Netflix (and presumably Redbox) that Warner, Fox, and Universal have implemented.
* Crackle and CinemaNow are now available on the Xbox 360. Crackle is a FREE movie service – uncut movies with commercials. There have some offerings that Netflix lacks. CinemaNow is another pay for rental ($3-4) or purchase ($16) movie venue. I’m not sure where the appeal is as most movies can be purchased as physical media (i.e. something you actually own as opposed to something you think you own) for far less.
* Amazon, which struggles mightily trying to bridge the gap between a Netflix type service and a pay as you go Blockbuster, is expected to announce a deal with Viacom shortly. They still have a lot of catching up to do content-wise to compete with Netflix. I will admit that Amazon is where I break my “no a la carte” digital rule. I buy every new episode of Walking Dead as it becomes available (since we ditched cable).
* Redbox is teaming up with Verizon to work on a new streaming movie service. I really think that except for niche markets, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have the subscription video sewn up. Redbox also snapped up all those Blockbuster kiosks – 35,000 of them – from NCR so if you thought Redbox was ubiquitous before…