Since the inception of imax, competitors have been looking for ways to beat their own ticket prices with a similar or superior product. In April 2010, Regal responded with the Regal Premium Experience, or RPX Theater. these theaters feature a much larger screen than the standard real movie theater, enhanced sound, and reclining leather seats.
When it comes to the actual technology behind these theaters, most companies remain intentionally vague and offer little information on their site and in person. To help you get a better idea of what RPX theaters have to offer, I’ll go into detail about each feature that comes with the more expensive alternative. By the end of this page, you’ll know for sure whether or not this movie theater is just another cheap movie marketing gimmick or a worthwhile investment for a movie enthusiast.
what does an rpx theater offer?
I think it’s important to start by saying that what a theater company claims and what is reality can often be two very different things. so keep in mind that when I’m listing the audio and visual quality present in these theaters, what I’m describing may not be present in your local theater. With that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into what everyone wants to know, screen size.
according to regal, each rpx screen measures forty feet vertically and sixty feet horizontally, which is slightly larger than the average movie screen. however, this is still a bit smaller than an imax screen, which is typically 52 by 72. considering this is regal’s “premium wide format” product, i’d say it hits the mark well enough in terms of size. movies are played through dual 30,000 lumen digital projectors.
audio-wise, it gets a bit muddier in terms of what your local movie theater actually uses. Regal claims that an RPX theater can use a 7.1 Dolby Atmos or 11.1 Auro sound system. the system your local theater uses is anyone’s guess. you can call and ask an employee, although I’ve seen many people say that employees aren’t sure which one to use. While it’s hard to blame the employees (who are usually high school students) for this, it’s information that doesn’t seem easy to come by.
Launch claims claim that theaters come equipped with eight 21-inch subwoofers, even though this was more than a dozen years ago. The actual number could have changed a lot from 2010 to 2022. However, reviewers seem to praise the audio quite a bit and it seems to be the highlight of the experience, overall.
regal claims that there are speakers built into their chairs, though I’ve seen several examples of individual theaters that don’t offer this. this actually seems like a good thing for those theaters, as many people say that the speakers in the chairs detract from the movie and are quite distracting.
Moving to seating, Regal offers remarkably upgraded leather chairs that even recline in some theaters. While this is likely to be much better than any alternative you can find in terms of comfort, I should note that if the theater doesn’t offer good air conditioning, beware. I shudder to think of the state of these chairs after a three-hour movie at eighty degrees. this is not only true for the person who sits on them, but also for the person who has to sit on them afterwards.
The regal premium experience is available for 2D movies and true 3D movies. actually 3d would be preferable in these theaters considering the seats are a bit further away from the action. this will help the depth of the third dimension on such a large screen, while being too close could remove the 3d effect.
Is the royal premium experience worth it?
To see if it’s worth the investment, we first need to look at the ticket price of this luxury option compared to its competitors. the rpx ticket according to the regal website will cost an adult between 18.50 and 21 usd. comparing this to imax (average 19.69), cinemark xd (average 12.15), and dolby cinema (17 – 20), it can be very difficult to justify the purchase of a ticket. this is especially true if you live in an area with multiple options.
I grew up in a town with only one theater within fifty miles and it was majestic. if you are someone who can relate to this then due to its geographical misfortune it may be worth buying the expensive tickets. Considering this is probably the only bigger screen theater you’ll see in your immediate vicinity, it might be worth spending the extra money.
In my subjective verdict, the actual premium experience falls short of imax by a wide margin. the screen isn’t that big, the sound quality is fifty/fifty depending on which theater you go to, and the creaky leather chairs that offer speakers don’t help the movie at all. this would be fine if the price was significantly lower than imax, although in my research it leans towards the most expensive option on the market.
if you’re going to watch a 3d movie, you might choose rpx for your farthest seats, which benefits the immersion of the screen as it reaches you. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll have to pay an even higher price if the film is both rpx and 3d, which can really add up if you’re paying for multiple people, theater snacks, or those pesky convenience fees.
The bottom line is that if you want to save money and have more options available locally, you should probably stay away from rpx. If you truly enjoy the supportive embrace of a soft leather recliner and don’t mind the increased cost that comes with this upgraded majestic format, by all means give it a try. I’d normally recommend going to the movies once just for the new experience, though it doesn’t separate enough from other big-screen options to justify the one-time purchase in my opinion.
The pandemic has hit the theater industry hard and the ramifications can be seen in several closed movie theaters across the country. Despite this, leading brands like Regal continue to offer extortionate ticket prices on inferior experiences that fall short of the cheaper alternatives offered by direct competitors. Because of this, I can’t recommend the rpx movie for most people, although unique scenarios might warrant someone trying this expensive option.