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brunsonpark08

Movie theaters inside the loop

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I visited the regal marque two Saturdays ago in the evening around 8 and it was empty.  I went to the regal greenway on Saturday evening and the same story, empty.  I think both regal theaters do a good job with upkeep. Someone told me the drafthouse will not open itl because it would be difficult to turn a profit. Has it always been a struggle for inside the loop theaters? Thanks

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Since AMC ruined Sundance downtown, there hasn't been anywhere good to see a movie, other than iPic. Both of the Edwards are very dated, dirty, and are in desperate need for an overhaul. I thought Edwards Greenway might turn it around a little when they started serving alcohol, but the their policies about it are terrible (ie. wristbands, drink limits, plastic cups). I don't know why it's so hard to turn a profit in the loop, and you can't tell specifically about the Houston location from the iPic financial statements, but the whole company is incredibly unprofitable. It seems like it's a tough business and high rents like in the loop make the projects DOA unless it's something niche. 

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How is the audience at ipic and does the experience justify the cost? In my opinion, I think regal has done a good job with the marque and greenway. They have added a rumble seat auditorium and curved screen one called screen x if you are into that.  The customer service has been great.  It’s a shame about Sundance. Studio 30 is a mess

Forgot to add, parking is $4 now for the greenway garage.

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I think most are hoping that Alamo finally comes into the loop, whether it is the long rumored Regent Square near Allen Parkway or in the spot dedicated to a movie theater in the East River plans. AMC 8 is my theater of choice due to location and ability to reserve seats but it's such a bad experience compared to Sundance, which was the best theater in the area including suburbs. 

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The iPic is super nice and the thing i like about it the most is the respectful audience and the pod chairs (as long as you are 2 people) and service really are great. I actually even like the menu...it is a great atmosphere in general in my opinion BUT i do realize that not everyone can afford 18.00 on weekdays and 26.00 on weekend per person tickets (VIP pod seats...skip the regular seats as its just the first few rows and yes they are normal seats but man are the close to the screen!). I know even I will go see select movies there (ie. scary movies where I dont have to listen to lunatics talking to and screaming at the screen) even though I can walk to the iPic theater! 

I DO however frequent Edwards Greenway and I like it for the most part as well. I park on the street behind the theater for free...while that street can fill up, I am always lucky to at least find one spot so do that when able.

You ARE right though...at Edwards it is almost always a light crowd even at the most popular movies at the most popular times...I have moviepass (which yep i still have and use and love haha) so i go almost once a week and it definitely has slowed down in the past 6 months to year. Maybe all the quality cable shows and movies as well as the paying services etc? These days you can almost bet that any given movie is released a couple to few months sometimes past their theater release date so maybe more people are waiting for home viewing. I personally love to watch a movie on the big screen! 

4 minutes ago, I'm Not a Robot said:

I think most are hoping that Alamo finally comes into the loop, whether it is the long rumored Regent Square near Allen Parkway or in the spot dedicated to a movie theater in the East River plans. AMC 8 is my theater of choice due to location and ability to reserve seats but it's such a bad experience compared to Sundance, which was the best theater in the area including suburbs. 

i LOVED Sundance and iPic to me rivals that if not does it a bit better...although Sundance pricing was a bit better, iPic offers more so come try that maybe on a weekday when its cheaper...

example: Miss Balla at 7pm tonight is 18.00 in vip seats and on friday at 7pm it is 26.00 in vip seats. (per person)

 

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16 minutes ago, gene said:

 

i LOVED Sundance and iPic to me rivals that if not does it a bit better...although Sundance pricing was a bit better, iPic offers more so come try that maybe on a weekday when its cheaper...

example: Miss Balla at 7pm tonight is 18.00 in vip seats and on friday at 7pm it is 26.00 in vip seats. (per person)

 

 

Yea, I'm just not their clientele. I used to pay around $6.00 for a matinee at Sundance. I cannot justify paying New York City prices for movies in Houston, despite the experience. 

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iPic is nice but it's a little pricey for me. I'd say Edwards Greenway is probably the best nonexpensive one we have in the loop... Sundance used to be good but for some reason I just not a big fan now. Personally, I am looking more forward to a Cinemark opening at Lower Heights District. Most Cinemarks do Discount Tuesdays where you only pay around $5.25 for reserved luxury loungers. You really can't beat that.

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I have to make time to go to the movies with so many movies and shows available through streaming services.  Ipic is nice for a date night movie if we're both interested.  Edwards Greenway is my goto now that Sundance is no more.   I honestly don't see how theaters plan to stay relevant with quick releases to video and streaming as I often find myself using that excuse to pass on going to the movies.  I do wish Alamo was inside the loop as they seem to be the only theater focused on customer engagement.

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So far I've really liked the River Oaks Theater (Operated by Landmark). Great authentic/classic movie experience without the super big lazyboy chairs or rumble chairs. The building itself is very unassuming outside, but massive on the inside. I went and saw Psycho a few months ago and I really want to go back again. I would say that's my fav inside the loop. Edwards Greenway is a good choice if you just want to catch the latest flick without all the bells and whistles. Its pretty affordable, and easy to get too.

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I used to basically live at River Oaks Theater (every Rocky Horror weekend, all the sneak preview screenings including Blair Witch etc...) But man those seats were just the most uncomfortable things ever...did they at least change out the smelly and uncomfortable seats? that is why i stopped going there! (although yes its sometimes the only place you can catch good/original independent or limited release cinema)

 

 

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I've been going to the River Oaks long enough to remember when it had an actual balcony before they walled it off and installed two additional screens. I like going there, but I've long ago sworn off paying to see anything in the upstairs rooms - the rows are spaced too close together to be comfortable for taller folks, and I'm also not too fond of the relatively small size of the screens. 

 

I like the Regal Edwards, not least because I believe they are one of only two theaters in the Houston that has the ability to screen 70mm film, and whoever they have running 70mm features there really knows his stuff. I've seen 2001, Dunkirk, and The Hateful Eight there in 70mm, and every time the presentation standards were reference-quality, no small thing when there are very few people around that are even semi-skilled at running 35mm film anymore, since most screens have transitioned to digital projection. 

 

iPic may have nice amenities but IMO it's a rare movie that can justify upwards of $20 a ticket in Houston.

Edited by mkultra25
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What’s the status of the river oaks theatre? I kind of remember that socialite lady having a rally to save it when weingarden wanted it closed. I know money talks and sadly everything has a price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see landmark try to sell it. They chose not to renew the lease of the awesome greenway 3. I was there the last night and snagged some signage. With Netflix and amazon buying indies, it makes  me worried about how much time it has left.

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17 hours ago, brunsonpark08 said:

What’s the status of the river oaks theatre? I kind of remember that socialite lady having a rally to save it when weingarden wanted it closed. I know money talks and sadly everything has a price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see landmark try to sell it. They chose not to renew the lease of the awesome greenway 3. I was there the last night and snagged some signage. With Netflix and amazon buying indies, it makes  me worried about how much time it has left.

 

Whats been interesting is that even though there has been a push for more things to be digital, I've been seeing a underground current in peoples taste for experiences/things with more authenticity. Its all about what unique experiences one can provide. There has been a boom in grocers and restaurants even with services like Dashlane/Postmates/Curbside pickups and its because even though its fine to have those quick conveniences, its even better to have places to shop and dine that have unique feels/experiences. The death we are seeing is in general/mass market retail of all kinds because you can get "generic" or "general" or "mass market" online for cheap. Same applies for movie theaters. Large chains like AMC, etc... will struggle because every theater is the same. All the same colors and bland. It will be interesting if these chains instead invest in more boutique/specialty movie palaces of old to give a richer experience. This is why I think small theaters like River Oaks will survive in the end because its a unique brand with history, and interesting experience you can't get anywhere else. If a retailer of any kind wants to survive they need to think and scale mass market, but aesthetically/tone appeal to local tastes.

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51 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

Whats been interesting is that even though there has been a push for more things to be digital, I've been seeing a underground current in peoples taste for experiences/things with more authenticity. Its all about what unique experiences one can provide. There has been a boom in grocers and restaurants even with services like Dashlane/Postmates/Curbside pickups and its because even though its fine to have those quick conveniences, its even better to have places to shop and dine that have unique feels/experiences. The death we are seeing is in general/mass market retail of all kinds because you can get "generic" or "general" or "mass market" online for cheap. Same applies for movie theaters. Large chains like AMC, etc... will struggle because every theater is the same. All the same colors and bland. It will be interesting if these chains instead invest in more boutique/specialty movie palaces of old to give a richer experience. This is why I think small theaters like River Oaks will survive in the end because its a unique brand with history, and interesting experience you can't get anywhere else. If a retailer of any kind wants to survive they need to think and scale mass market, but aesthetically/tone appeal to local tastes.

I agree with Luminare and add my opinion that the movie theaters most likely to succeed inside the loop are those that do not show main-stream movies. Think smaller, more intimate, and better designed theaters; indie productions; and more limited hours/days and showings. Of course this will mean higher ticket prices but for a quality movie and viewing experience I believe a sufficient number of people will pay. It's not like these places will put Landmark or Edwards out of business.

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