The AMC movie theater location on Pearl Drive spent most of the summer at limited capacity during a major remodel.
Now that the AMC is firing on all cylinders I felt obliged to review the new additions, as now one can essentially get the experience of Showplace Cinema’s Royal Suite for a fraction of the cost and still get a better movie-going experience.
For those who have never heard of the Royal Suite, check out my review on usishield.com.
The basic idea of the Suite was to ape the Alamo Drafthouse format of an “adult” movie experience, in which high quality seats, alcohol and food were made available to moviegoers.
Showplace implemented this idea with a $14 ticket price.
From the perspective of a consumer, it seems AMC looked at that model, laughed sarcastically and dedicated a few months of construction to present a higher quality version of this idea for, at most, $5.99 per ticket.
Gone are the overly optimistic three concession stands the local AMC has had since opening day, relics of a bygone era in which someone genuinely believed Evansville had enough moviegoers to necessitate three popcorn machines running around the clock.
In their place is, well, a normal concession stand but beefed up to dish out some additional treats, including chicken strips and pizza.
Customers can now get their massive doses of soda through two conveniently placed Coke Freestyle machines, meaning literally any flavor combination of any Coca-Cola product is available, for better or worse.
Also, a bar adorably named “MacGuffin’s” (a uber-nerdy showbiz reference I would appreciate more if AMC didn’t tell you what MacGuffin’s refers to on every damned surface with the name) has just opened up, allowing any of-age moviegoer to stock up on a heavily priced mix drink before suffering through the next Adam Sandler flop or cynical Michael Bay adaptation of a Hasbro toy.
The ticket-buying process has been streamlined with three giant touch-screens eliminating three of the cash registers. All screenings are now assigned seating, but for good reason: every single seat in AMC has been replaced with an electronic recliner.
No longer will sitting next to strangers in public be awkward, as these new recliners come in sets of two. As long as customers have at least one friend available, they will never know the feeling of being awkwardly groped by a stranger’s butter-coated fingers.
As much as I like to support local companies, AMC to Showplace is not like paying several cents more to feel better about where beef comes from.
For less than half the price I get a better moviegoing experience as the norm, not as a luxury item.
Every theater within a 50-mile radius will have to step up their game if they want to compete with this glistening shrine to movies.