Regal Renovations Pose New Concerns

Over Thanksgiving break, I was able to watch both Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League in back-to-back showings. On Saturday the nineteenth, I hurried from my house to the theater, bought my tickets, large popcorn, and bottle of water, and sat down to enjoy two movies that I did, in fact, enjoy. However, on the way home that afternoon, there was one thing about the day that was bugging me: the new seats at the Hudson Regal Theaters, a set of a couple dozen recliners replacing the old stadium-like seating.

Before I trigger any fanatics of these new seats, I will say they have a great number of positives. They have more room to move and settle down in. The wider armrests make it less likely to accidentally spill drinks and gives room on the armrests to hold snacks. The recliner aspect allows more comfort during the movie. And the fewer seats means more elbow room and a smaller chance of that one guy who treats the movie theater like an outdoor park and is loud and obnoxious.

On the contrary, it’s that close-packed feeling I wish for. When a theater has lots of people or is a packed house, it gives a strong sense of community. I think back to last year, with the release of Rogue One: a Star Wars Story, and my first viewing of it. The theater was packed, including myself and two fellow juniors-then-sophomores. While I can admit the film is far from the best in the saga, it felt so amazing with so many other people who love a film series like I. It was like one reaction: every funny moment given a large cue of laughter; the deaths of characters given a wave of brief mourning; and as we all watched Darth Vader tear through that hallway of rebels like he was invincible, we all sat in shock, awe, and pure fanboy enthrallment! I want more feelings like that in my moviegoing experiences.

Of course, not every theater will be a full house. War for the Planet of the Apes, while great, does not resound with me as much because I was almost alone in the theater. But it’s the opportunity for so many other respectable viewers that makes going to the theater so fun. But Ragnarok and JL, while good movies, just didn’t have that same sense of close community in the theater that they could have had.

In conclusion, I am not the biggest fan of these new seats. While they are very comfortable and have great new features, it comes purely from the lack of closeness I felt to the other moviegoers there at the time, even though there were people right next to me. But to any Hudson Regal employees reading this: I assure you that your renovation decision has not chased away my business.

– Sam Hoffman ’19

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