Why Regal Cinemas Suck
Sure, we love the Alamo, but we go elsewhere too. Some theaters, such as the Galaxy Highland, we like very much.
The place we loathe the most, however, is the Regal Arbor Cinema. Regal, the largest cinema chain in the country, makes moviegoing an unpleasant experience. The biggest annoyance is the commercial reel they run before shows. It's loud and it's distracting and it makes it hard to talk to your companion.
The thing is, we've been turned away from the Alamo for a sold out show, driven down the road a few minutes to the Arbor, and found ourselves sitting in a nearly empty theater. That happened to us last weekend when we saw Shut Up & Sing. It happened the weekend before when we saw For Your Consideration.
So how can it be that the Alamo is packed to the walls at the same time that the Arbor is empty? It's not movie selection. Tim League, the Alamo owner, often has to fight distribution politics to get the movies he wants. For instance, the Alamo lost the opening week of Borat and had to refund tickets. Regal had it (albeit down the road at the Gateway).
I think the reason is because it sucks to see films in a Regal cinema. It's more fun to see the movie elsewhere—especially at an Alamo. People may not be complaining about movie commercials to theater management, but I think they may be voting with their feet.