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- Iron Man 2 
- Regal E-Walk 13
New York, NY
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Regal Cinemas last week announced the launch of a new big-screen theater concept that they are calling "RPX: Regal Premium Experience." Regal is pitching this as "a custom-built premium environment featuring elegant and luxurious seats with high-back headrests, a giant immersive screen illuminated by high-quality digital projectors and completed with a state-of-the-art sound system."
The first RPX installation will be at the Regal E-Walk 13 in New York City, which will be ready in time for the release of Iron Man 2 on May 7th. It will offer movie patrons a 60-foot wide image illuminated by dual digital projectors and the ability to show both 2D and 3D movies, according to the press release issued by Regal Cinemas on April 8th. The 100,000 watt sound system is capable of producing 9.1 channels of sound and supplies what should be an adequate amount of rumble with eight 21" subwoofers.
Our showtimes will have a note beneath them that mentions RPX, as you will see by looking at the aforementioned showtimes. As long as that information is supplied by the theater, you will be able to identify the RPX shows easily!
The RPX concept sounds a lot like the UltraScreens offered by Marcus Theatres, the XD screens that Cinemark is installing, and much like the ETX experience that AMC announced in March. These big-screen installations are approaching (and sometimes exceeding) IMAX installations, with the benefit of not having to pay the IMAX licensing fees and being restricted to the slate of IMAX-converted movies. The kicker is that they are able to charge customers an additional fee to see a movie in these upgraded auditoriums, so it's easy to see why these "experiences" are cropping up with increasing frequency!
Regal is no different in that regard, as a quick look at the showtimes for Iron Man 2 at the Regal E-Walk 13 indicates that the RPX experience will cost you an extra $5.50 over the $13.00 ticket price for an adult to attend an evening show. That's more than a 42% upcharge over the usual ticket price! While this certainly seems exhorbitant, the nearby AMC Empire 25 charges a $6.00 upcharge for its non-3D IMAX presentations, so the final price for Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience on opening day is going to be the same $18.50. This puts RPX in direct competition with IMAX, so it will be interesting to follow how audiences respond.
The press release does mention that Regal isn't giving up on IMAX, though. They currently have 43 IMAX installations, and they are planning to add to that number as well as expand on the RPX offerings. One wonders if RPX is designed in such a way that existing IMAX screens could be converted to RPX should the need/desire arise...
While we welcome additional options for moviegoers to have the best possible experiences they can at movie theaters, we wonder how long audiences will accept the high upcharges that go with them? Perhaps the higher prices will act as a double-edged sword, and cause patrons to demand nothing but the best for their money. For $18.50, the experience better blow me away and leave me with nothing but positive feelings about having spent that kind of money!
Is It Better Than IMAX?
The size of the screen for this first RPX installation and the ticket upcharge that comes with it compares so closely to the nearby IMAX screen, one has to wonder what RPX has to offer over IMAX? If IMAX got into so much hot water last summer over their relatively small screens (see Journal Article), isn't this more of the same, but without the IMAX brand?
That issue is explored in a new Journal article - IMAX Getting Competition from Many Directions - But Are the Alternatives Really Better?
What Do You Think?
We'd love to hear your comments, so please leave your comments below!
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Please Note: These comments are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.
I saw my first RPX movie today (Skyfall at the UA Court Street in Brooklyn).
The first thing you notice is that the screen is huge. This just made me take a seat further back than I normally would. It just decreases the portion of the theatre in which I can comfortably enjoy a movie.
The sound was very good, but nothing different than I have experienced in the past. The claim is for "crystal clear all-digital projection" but isn't nearly all projection digital these days? RPX just seems like another ploy to get you to plunk down more money, but unlike 3D gives you nothing that's really different or better.
If I have a choice in the future, I will avoid the RPX upcharge.
I watched my first RPX movie "After Earth" yesterday, on June 4th, Matinee. Cost was about the same as watching a 3D movie, so I wasn't annoyed at the cost. The local theatre had just finished upgrading to this new format, and I am pleased that they did.
The screen image, sound, and improved seat comfort really was quite nice and made the entire movie experience one of the best I have ever had. I don't go to many movies, I choose them very carefully. So when I go, it's very special, and I wasn't disappointed with the RPX theatre in any way! I think they did a great job!
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