Xscape Theaters 14

7710 Matapeake Business Drive,
Brandywine, MD 20613

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Xscape Theaters 14

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Southern Maryland’s newest multiplex is now open in April 2013, just outside of Waldorf in Brandywine. The theater was originally the site of a Kerasote venue, but that chain was eventually bought by AMC. Since Waldorf has a 9 screener near the St Charles Shopping center, it would’ve competed with itself. BowTie Cinemas was then interested but then bowed out.

The theater boasts 14 digital screens, with two 70' screen auditoriums touted as Xtreme Xscape that also has reclining electric leatherette seating, overhead speakers and 10.2 sound.

Contributed by JodarMovieFan

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

John Fink  (www.johnfinkfilms.com)
John Fink (www.johnfinkfilms.com) on May 10, 2013 at 2:56 am

The site was going to be Kerastoes then I think Bow Tie was developing it for a while – then Great Escape. Digging through the site its owned by Alliance Management, Great Escape’s former parent company. The theater from their Facebook page looks an awful lot like the Great Escape (now Regal) theatre outside of Scranton.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on May 10, 2013 at 3:25 am

There are no distinguishing structural elements to this plex. You can see the steel ceiling and air conditioning ducts when you enter. One item worth noting is that there doesn’t seem to be a traditional box office in front of the building. When you enter, you see self service kiosks, the Customer Service/Manager’s cube and then the refreshment stands. The idea is to buy your ticket AND get concessions at the same time. Not a bad idea and a time saver, too. Opposite to the refreshment/box office cashier area are numerous self service soda fountains and condiment stations. This is a great idea as one can fix their soda the way they want. Single soda refills are free in all sizes. The $15.50 for the afternoon matinee in the 3D Xtreme format is palatable. The first show is even cheaper. Regal Theaters take note.

I had tried to ask the ticket taker(s) about the theater amenities but they didn’t know. The younger guy was trying to say something. The older lady blurted out said..‘oh, you’ll enjoy the nice clear picture and loud sound..’ Okay. I thanked them and went to the auditorium as the show was to start.

7, one of the two Xtreme Xscape auditoriums look like one of AMC’s IMAX installs. There are overhead speakers are there and one would think Dolby Atmos. Unfortunately, its neither advertised as such, nor indicated on the Dolby website as having been installed. In any case, hearing Iron Man 3 in this theater, I couldn’t notice anything of aural significance, except for upper left channel sounds..perhaps it is the Atmos-like experience with the upper theaters. I recall this experience at the Atmos theater in AMC Tysons Corner 16.

There were no pre show ads or format advertising at all. Its no doubt digital, most likely 4K, but I doubt its IMAX since its proprietary and the movie didn’t have that brightness..the laser directed projection I guess its called..to enhance the picture.

One major gripe about #7, and to be fair..the place is new, is the lack of sound insulation. After the beginning of the movie, I would hear these boom boom sounds and thought it was the movie. Unfortunately, it made no sense since there was nothing going on. It had to be sound from the adjoining theater. Very bad. If this place had been THX certified, there would be better sound baffling to prevent sound bleeding.

Entering in, you’ll see regular seats in front of the center aisle. Above the center aisle are rows and rows of LEATHERETTE reclining seats. I was about to take the regular seat to closer to the screen in the hopes of getting that aural and picture immersion experienced in similar venues. Instead, I chose the leatherette reclining seats and boy, was I not disappointed. How many times have you been to a theater where you wish you could s-t-r-e-t-c-h and end up either putting your feet up against the chair in front, or have an idiot do the same behind you? No more. You flip a switch on the right armrest by your thigh and the recliner opens up to the desired angle. Nice. I am curious how these seats will hold up within a year or so after heavy use.

The employees could use better training in customer service. No one greeted me anywhere…okay, the refreshment area, but the guy mumbled so badly, all I could hear was “welcome a;lkaeconweo8."
They need the best looking employee there to greet people at the door. The fact there’s no traditional box office will leave people a little lost but like I said earlier, combining the ticket purchase and concession purchases is a great idea.

Stay away from the pretzel bites. They do warm them up and serve them with the same nacho cheese sauce that goes with the nachos. They are just TOO salty.

Perhaps, the next time I go, I will do more looking around and take some pictures. The leatherette recliners are a BIG PLUS as they are comfortably cozy.

The ticket I had mentioned something about reserved seating. Perhaps, this will be coming to some of the auditoriums in the future. I hope not. I do not like reserved seating. I enjoy sitting where I want and to change my seat if I find out I’m not comfortable with my first choice.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on May 24, 2013 at 5:16 am

I caught Star Trek: Into Darkness in the same #7 I saw Iron Man, which is one of the two 70ft large screen auditoriums. The matinee showing was sparse..probably 6 of us. I love the recliner seats. They are perfect. This time, I sat further up and still had stretching room.

Soundwise..it was rather subdued compared to the THX 7.1 presentation at Annapolis Mall’s #1. I did not notice sound bleeding this time. Perhaps the adjoining theater’s soundtrack was not as jarring as the last time.

For its $15 price, its a toss up. Its less than AMC’s IMAX-lite but the bonus are the comfortable seating and leg room.

Giles
Giles on May 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

to be fair (or negative in this case) the Atmos mix of Iron Man 3 was nothing to rave about in the first place. I gather Atmos' rollout is planned on variants that I am not aware of, but I’d expect the Xscape might happen here. More Regal Atmos upgrades are happening in the coming months and Bow Tie Reston’s is supposedly still happening.

Giles
Giles on June 14, 2013 at 4:06 am

I saw ‘Fast and Furious 6’ on screen 8 this afternoon, and for the most part it was a decent presentation. Interestingly the 2.35 image was moved up to take up the upper part of the screen, not in the center as most 1.85 fixed screens usually do. But… the lighting from the stairs at the lower front of the screen bounce up back onto the screen, so not only was there a light ‘light’ source in the lower black border but when ever there was a predominantly dark scene the flaw was even more obvious. Management said they’d look into the problem and see if it could be fixed. The 5.1 audio mix, while bombastic really didn’t complement or really show off the 10.2 audio system, I barely heard ANY overhead sound effects. On the plus side I love the seats, talk about comfortable, I could have fallen asleep in them. I also love the fact that there were only around three trailers NOT like Regal’s mind numbing twenty minutes worth of trailers. The DLP system for those interested is a Christie projector.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on July 23, 2013 at 5:06 am

My niece and I saw ‘White House Down’ in #7, a few weeks back…not my choice, ok? Jamie Foxx as President? HAHAHAHA.

As with my previous visits to this auditorium, the sound up front is underwhelming. Its as if someone put some kind of sound filter over the speaker to reduce what was coming out. Also, I could hear the air conditioning running..not a good thing. I figured it would be a matter of time before the very nice plush faux leather seats and their power recline feature would break. There is a sign in the front that does not guarantee operable reclining seats. Already 3 months into operation and the place is running down.

The customer service is horrible. We had to wait almost ten minutes before we could buy our tickets. The only reason I waited was so they could swipe the theater’s own movie card, otherwise I would’ve used the kiosk. There was a guy who came out to ‘help’ but instead of opening up another register to help, he just disappeared.

I have yet to see movies in the other auditoriums. Perhaps they aren’t as bad, but since these are the ‘extreme’ theaters with 10.2 sound and 70' wide screens, you’d think it would be the best of them.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on September 18, 2013 at 1:48 am

I saw ‘Riddick’ in #1, which is one of the ‘smaller’ houses with a cap of 116 seats that was advertised as in being in DBOX. I had always wanted to experience a movie in DBOX but the closest one to me is a the Cobb Village venue way out in Leesburg VA. For a smaller house, the screen was quite large..it had to be about 50' wide. They had the faux leather recliner seats, too, but as I later found out, no DBOX set up. After receiving a customer service rep response, it turns out it was a posting error. :P

Sound and picture were digital clear with decent surrounds. Not bad to see a movie here. Judging by the cars parked, it seems the AMC at the Charles Town mall has larger crowds. Perhaps when the shopping center here adds more business, traffic will pick up some. Though the venue could use better advertising that could be visible to the main traffic on 301. A huge message/marquee-type board with titles and formats maybe. A video screen showing movie snippets may be too distracting for drivers.

nextinline
nextinline on September 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Yes this theatre is from the same company that operated the Great Escape chain which was sold to Regal during construction. It appears they kept this site as part of the purchase and changed the name. There have been numerous complaints on sites like Yelp about the ticket/concession setup being too time consuming and lines being too long. This company in their previous locations were known to be thrifty and cheap so they didn’t always staff all of their areas and this is probably their way of cutting staff at some point. They would open strong and staff their theatres well but once they got going would reduce payroll to a bare minimum (and then some) and also stop taking care of their buildings. The seats are vastly different from the AMC installs at renovated theatres (like St. Charles, Courthouse, and Worldgate) and were definitely an after thought. Several places in the auditoriums have railings blocking the screens which would probably not have happened if the auditoriums were designed with these seats in mind. It will be interesting to see how they can compete. They will probably start off strong and then taper off like they did at their previous Great Escape locations. Pretty disappointing that this is the chain that came into the Waldorf area for a new theatre. Kerasotes or Bow Tie would have been much better.

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on March 21, 2014 at 2:26 am

I caught 300: Rise of an Empire in the Xtreme Theater or so I thought. There were a few people at the counter and I decided to use the automated ticket machine. Fortunately, unlike Bow Tie’s auto units, the Xscape auto machines, like Regal’s, will also accept your frequent movie card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you what your points are, either or that it even acknowledges any point capture.

When I sat down, I was alone, the lights were on and a patron came in during previews. The lights were still on during previews. Hmm. The movie started and the lights were still on. I waited..and waited..thinking maybe someone will turn off the house lights. Finally, the other patron left. I then went to box office/concession stand and was told that someone should have told me that there were electrical problems from one of the recent snow storms that prevented the houselights from 3 theaters to be turned off! I was thinking to myself, then why did they even advertise, much less sell tickets for shows where this would be a problem. I was offered a free pass after watching the show in bright light, a refund and/or watching it in another theater and then getting a free pass afterward. The thing was I paid the premium price for the Xtreme auditorium.

I decided to go back and watch it in the bright light. A Manager came in later and asked me if I could follow the movie. Fortunately, it was intriguing enough to follow, but due to the harsh lights, contrasts and darks could not be seen. She recommended I go to another auditorium, but didn’t specify. I walked around and found it was playing and ended up seeing the first half hour again.

I think it was 11 that I ended up in and it was in a non-3D but digital format. What a difference. I almost forgot the graphic visual style of the first movie that drew me to it and the sequel. Anyways, the presentation was digital perfect even though there was no 3D. The sex scene they had was raunchy and deserves a hard R rating.

When the movie ended, I went back to the concession/box office counter. There was only one young lady there. She called the Manager to get my free pass. I waited and waited and waited. Finally, the Manager, a much younger guy than the first one I met when the place opened up earlier last year. I suppose the previous GM had enough of the place and left. :) So..after about what felt like 30 minutes, I got my readmit pass. The only thing is upon reading it when I got home, it says not valid for Xtreme, 3D shows. Well…we’ll see about that come redemption time. I kept my original stub, which is intact because no one was at the auditorium entrance to take it. Ha!

This year, with work and the very harsh winter we’ve had, I have not seen the usual amount of films I have in year’s past. I was glad to get out and see this movie even with the tech issues the venue has had. Would I go back? Sure. I have to redeem the readmit pass. :) I do love the comfy faux leather chairs and the big screens. Maybe when the Russell Crowe starring ‘Noah’ comes out next week, I’ll go back.

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