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And this theater hasn’t changed. Looks like it has the same abysmal seats, poor smell, but still the same excellent 4K screen quality. I didn’t talk about the sound(however, the only film I saw at this theater, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”, which was a really awful gross out family comedy(if you can call it that)(and the second worst film of 2017, behind you know what it is(“The Emoji Movie”(and ironically, I saw a trailer for that film before “Wimpy Kid”, and I have a feeling that it was attached to “Wimpy Kid” as well), wasn’t very reliant on BIG, LOUD sound.)(and believe it or not, I found out that the Blu-Ray for “Wimpy Kid” has 7.1 sound. That’s VERY generous for a film like that.), and that’s for a reason. It’s just a standard, 5.1 PCM mix with nothing special whatsoever. I think that the bigger auditoriums do have 7.1 sound(I saw “Wimpy Kid” in one of the smaller auditoriums), but I will never know. Still, this theater could be close to shutting down if it doesn’t have any renovations.
I remember going to this theater to see “Captain America: Civil War”(in 2D, and it possibly had 7.1 sound), and I recently saw “Ready Player One” (in 2D and with 7.1 sound) in this theater. One of the best 7.1 mixes I’ve ever heard(though it still doesn’t compare to the film’s IMAX and ATMOS sound mixes, which will ROCK AND SHAKE THE HOUSE). Great recliner seating, good prices, and rocking sound make this an awesome theater.
I’ve been to this theater twice. One time for “Thor: Ragnarok”(in 3D ATMOS) and one time for “Ready Player One”(in 2D WIDESCREEN ATMOS). And even though Thor’s ATMOS mix didn’t QUITE blow me away(though that might have been due to the volume of the theater itself), Ready Player One’s ATMOS mix definitely did(and it helps that it was sixth time I saw the film(I previously saw the film in LIMAX(Fake IMAX)3D(at AMC Tysons Corner), Laser IMAX 3D(with 12.1 sound!)(at the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater in Washington D.C.), regular 3D(in 5.1 sound)(at Regal Fairfax Towne Center), regular 2D(in 5.1 sound)(at Cinemark Centreville), and regular 2D(again, but this time with 7.1 sound!).). A good theater with decent prices, and some of the best sound you will ever hear.
Let’s just say… …this theater is pretty lousy. The last two movies I saw in this theater were “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” and “Zootopia”(my personal favorite movie).(I saw them in LIMAX AND LIMAX 3D respectively. That is how a normal movie theater installs IMAX equipment in their normal multiplexes not big enough to fit a real IMAX screen.) When I went there both times, the theater was almost empty. And both of them were films that made a lot of money at the box office(especially “Zootopia” and it’s VERY well deserved 1.02 BILLION dollars it made at the worldwide box office). That is definitely due to the age of the theater. It has the same set up as the Regal Bowie Theater(and that can definitely explain since Hoyt’s opened both theaters(back before their USA division was acquired by Regal in the mid 2000s) back when they opened in the late 1990s/early 2000s.), with the uncomfortable seating and poor set up and smell. The IMAX 6.1 sound quality is as AWESOME as usual, but it doesn’t compare to the 12.1 sound that the Airbus IMAX Theater, Universal Cinema, and especially the AMC Lincoln Square IMAX theater has(in fact, all three theaters use the IMAX Laser projection system), but that doesn’t make a poor theater any better. Just like the Regal Bowie theater, this theater is in SERIOUS need of a renovation.
I have really unfond memories of this theater. I saw ‘'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul’‘(the less I say about the movie, THE BETTER)here, and it was a miserable experience. The seats were sticky, had no removable armrests(which is very odd, even back then, because back in the late 1990s, when this theater opened, a lot of movie theaters(especially AMC) were putting removable armrests on their theater seats, and they are now a main feature in regular seats and theater recliners) and uncomfortable and the theater smelled JUST AWFUL. Yeah, sure, the projection quality is excellent(this is one of the few Regal theaters that still use the Sony 4K projection system, which can explain the high image quality it has), and it is one of the few theaters that still has Dolby Digital EX)(The auditorium I was in didn’t have it, it only had regular Dolby Digital sound.)(And I think that this theater had DTS and SDDS(Sony Dynamic Digital Sound)too. I’m not sure, but I think it did. So, this theater DEFINITELY had Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital EX, and probably had DTS and SDDS sound too. Who knows.) . But in a world where now recliners are the main seat of choice in a movie theater, IMAX and large format theaters are entering more theaters, and Dolby Atmos(and Dolby Surround 7.1 is starting to become a popular sound choice, too)(and to a lesser extent, Auro 11.1, and DTS X is starting to pop up in some theaters, too.) is now the main sound system of choice, this theater, with it’s now outdated seats, projection system, and sound systems, this theater is really lost in the shuffle. You can tell that this theater was opened in the late 1990s(around late 1997 or early
1998), and after almost 20 years of the theater opening, it still has that 90’s feel in it. It really needs to be renovated, and it shows. Recliners and the addition of Dolby Atmos sound(which will probably be in an RPX theater, but I doubt it, since Regal hasn’t really done anything with Atmos since 2013)(I’m sure that if they renovated it, the sound system will probably be Dolby Surround 7.1) will help save this theater, but there might be a chance that the theater will be closed down, too. We’ll see.
I’ve been to this theater both when it was still AMC Universal Citywalk and when it was renamed Universal Cinema. Back when it still had it’s old name, I went to this theater on a trip to California 2 years ago, and saw ‘'Ant-Man’‘(in IMAX 3D) and ’‘Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation’‘(I really liked both films, but I thought that ’‘Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation’‘ was a bit better than ’‘Ant-Man’‘, but I think both of them are really good films) in their IMAX theater. Their screen was large and huge and had amazing sound, but that was nothing to the huge renovation it got. When I next went to this theater this summer(when it was renamed Universal Cinema), it really had a massive renovation. Recliners, some auditoriums featuring Dolby Atmos sound, and a huge overhaul to their IMAX theater, now with the IMAX Laser system. I saw ’‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’‘(in IMAX 3D) in their new IMAX theater, and wow. What an awesome experience it was. Not only was the movie awesome(it’s one of my favorite films of 2017 so far), the screen was still massive, but the image quality and sound got a major overhaul. The image quality looked a lot better than the old IMAX theater, and the sound. Wow. EXTREMELY LOUD, BUT VERY SATISFYING. If I went back to California, I would definitely go to this theater again. It’s awesome and very worth it.