Las Vegas Cinema: Classic Cinema Treasures- Gone But Not Forgotten

Welcome back Tribals!

This crazy valley that I have called my home for every one of my 28 years has certainly seen its fair share of changes. Many times have I heard visitors comment on how even after a two year absence, this city is almost unrecognizable. The very heart of this town seems to warrant this constant state of fluctuation and while not always for the best, it’s hard to argue that we have not grown exponentially over the last 50 years. Movie theaters have been no exception to our wavering infrastructure. And while you won’t hear any qualms from me regarding our new state-of-the-art cinemas, I feel like we owe it to ourselves to take a minute to reflect on how far we’ve come. So this week my friends, I’d like to take us all on a trip down memory lane!

 The Cinerama Theater

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At some point during the late 50’s- early 60’s, someone decided that dome-shaped everything was a good idea. I’ll be honest, I’m not even mad. Granted this capsule probably couldn’t house more than 200 people and the gigantic screens like we have today, though many of us go to the movies to escape from reality. What better way to do that than to step inside something out of a science fiction movie? If nothing else, this should highlight the disparities in architectural imagination, am I right?

The Stardust Drive-In

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Check out this throwback! Does it freak you out to think that there’s a good possibility you or someone you know was probably conceived here? It should. Drive-ins were all the rage in decades past and you can bet that your parents frequently came here in an age when human interaction was necessary to everyday life. As you can see, this is a far cry from even our own aging West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In.

The Huntridge

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Some of you may even recognize this classic staple. The Huntridge eventually turned into a very popular concert venue during later years, but has since been sitting vacant near the downtown area. It’s crazy to think that at one time people would put on their Sunday best and gather here for some of history’s best films. Now when’s the last time any of us could say the same? Las Vegans have actually been quite vocal in attempting to save this historic theater from the same fate that just about every building over the age of 40 meets in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in joining the fight you should check out Save the Historic Huntridge Theater’s website.

The Red Rock 11 Theaters

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Naturally I had to save the best for last. The Red Rock 11 Theaters is one that really hits home for me as I have many vivid memories of coming here when I was young and still full of imagination. Can you blame me?? I mean look at this place! There are very few places in Las Vegas that are built with any sense of creative architecture or personality. This place had it all; once you stepped through those doors you really felt like you were walking through London on a foggy night in the early 20th century. At least to me, it really doesn’t get any better than that. I feel like if Las Vegans are going to stand up for anything, it should be to bring back something just like this. Trust me, your children will thank you for it… and so will I 🙂

Now that you’ve come this far and you’re probably reeling with feelings of nostalgia, here’s a glimpse at what others had to say:

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Certainly this doesn’t encompass all of Las Vegas’s classic cinemas, though these would certainly be among my favorites. If you’re interested in checking out even more, I would invite you to check out Classic Las Vegas’s website. There you will find a plethora of pictures, information, and people who are determined to keep the past in our memory. Also, another great site is Cinema Treasures which, as the name implies, is focused on preserving the memories of all of our great theaters throughout the ages, not just in Las Vegas. Surely we have come a long way and it’s even more exciting to think where the next generation will be watching their films. Every now and then though, it’s nice to revisit the past to find inspiration and appreciation for how things used to be. If anyone has a special memory from any one of these theaters I would especially love to hear it in the comments below!

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Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- West Wind Las Vegas 5 Drive-In


We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to bring you a severe weather headline from Weather.com:

shitty weather headline

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http://www.weather.com/storms/tornado/news/severe-weather-tracker-page

 Meanwhile in Las Vegas…

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http://www.weather.com/weather/today/l/USNV0049:1:US

Welcome back my friends! Do you see what I did there? Yes, Vegas may be lacking in a lot of areas (looking at you education), but no one can ever argue that we don’t have some of the best weather in the United States. Yeah it may get pretty hot, and yes you might have to pay a little extra for air conditioning in the summer time, but when’s the last time you had to fix the dent in your car from a baseball-sized hail stone?

With that in mind and summer right around the corner, let’s celebrate our fabulous weather by visiting the West Wind Las Vegas 5 Drive-In:

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I know what you’re thinking; you just came from Regal Downtown Summelin 5 and this looks a little sketchy. Well let me stop you right there. I mean, this place has been around since my parents were kids and it’s still standing. That’s got to count for something, right? Besides, it’s a drive in so it’s not like it has the benefit of having any stylish architecture in the first place.

What it does have however, is staying power and that power comes from the simple premise of being able to pack your car up with as many of the comfiest pillows and blankets as you can find and snuggle up to a great movie in the privacy of your own car.  And when’s the last time you actually changed up your normal movie regimen? Probably not since we all saw Woody Harrelson’s crazy-ass beat the hell out of that guy at the drive-in in Out of the Furnace.

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Luckily in Vegas most of our meth-head, racist, drug lords are preoccupied with other things besides the movies so we shouldn’t have to be concerned with that. What’s more is that this venue offers some pretty killer deals. Regular admission is just $7.00 per person and Tuesday nights are family nights so admission is only $5.00 per person. Another major concern that comes up, which is addressed directly on their website’s FAQ’s, is about if the car battery is in jeopardy of dying from having to have it running during the film; to which they reply:

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http://www.westwinddriveins.com/westwind/index.php?r=site/faq

And while although the website specifically states that alcohol, pets, and firearms are strictly prohibited, they say nothing about bringing in your own food and drink. If you regularly find yourself picking things up at the concession stand, then right away you’re saving some money right there. The real kicker with attending the drive-in comes with the fact that all movies are double features. So while although you don’t have to stay for both films, your already reduced ticket price LEGITIMATELY counts for two movies.

If you’re still on the fence about ditching the air-conditioning for an outdoors experience, you don’t have to take my word for it. West Wind Las Vegas 5 Drive-In has a pretty outstanding Yelp following that praises their efforts. Here’s just a few:

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http://www.yelp.com/biz/west-wind-las-vegas-5-drive-in-las-vegas

I’m curious to hear what you guys have to say about it? Have you had any experiences here that we should know about? Feel free to share your story in the comments below!

Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- Century 16 Suncoast

Welcome back my friends! Now that you’ve had time to digest and reflect upon my last post concerning Movie Theater Etiquette, let’s go back to the movies!

*Remember: Please leave at least one seat between you and the person next to you.*

This week I’d like to turn your attention to Century 16 Suncoast:

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Have you ever wondered what your grandparents do at night? Are they in bed by 7pm? Maybe they’re up late playing Parcheesi? Perhaps grandma is sealing that envelope filled with four dollars and a guilt trip about how you never go over to see her anymore. SPOILER ALERT: They’re actually right here, at the Suncoast, gambling away your birthday money because they’re tired of waiting for you to come visit.

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http://www.playbuzz.com/jennifers/what-kind-of-old-person-will-you-be

My god! You’ve never seen so many senior citizens in your life! Not that that’s a bad thing but this just seems to be the happening place for our ancestors. It’s not that surprising when you think about it though. Suncoast Hotel and Casino is located right in the middle of Summerlin where collectively, many elderly folk like to relax and enjoy the finer things in life like cheap buffets and video poker.

So why should you have to hurdle oxygen tanks and hold your breath through the dizzying fog of cigarette smoke just to see a movie? Well Suncoast is actually a more commonly forgotten movie theater which is a shame because more often than not, it is among the few theaters in town that showcases a lot of really great films. From Sundance festival winners to classic academy favorites, this is the place to be for serious cinephiles looking to enjoy a film with more substance than just skin and explosions.

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If you are fiending for something more commercial however, fear not. Suncoast doesn’t just exclusively show indie films and if you pair that with the fact that on Tuesdays it’s only $5.00 all day for a ticket, this place gets two very enthusiastic thumbs-up from me.  The amenities are pretty basic compared to the valley’s newer theaters but the facilities have all been exquisitely maintained throughout all of my experiences here.

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Photo taken by TadaloT

Another pretty sweet deal here is the offers that will come up through Fathom Events. You’ve most likely seen advertisements for these at the movies during the pre-previews and brushed it off. I would urge everyone to actually give these a chance sometime as they are a really great way to experience theater, concerts, and classic cinema for those of us that aren’t lucky enough to be able to make it to Broadway or the Globe on a regular basis. Check out a list of upcoming events!

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When all is said and done, Suncoast remains one of my favorite movie theaters in Las Vegas. It’s not overly populated, it offers some fantastic deals and experiences, and let’s be honest; old people are much better behaved than the teenagers you’ll find up the street at Red Rock. Do yourself a favor and take a trip here sometime. Or, do me a favor and tell me why I am completely wrong in the comments below!

Brutally Honest: Movie Theater Etiquette

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What’s happened in our society to cause a man to think that it’s okay to pee in the urinal right next to you when the entire bathroom is empty? At what point did hands become shovels for which obscene amounts of popcorn can be shoved into a mouth? Can we identify why a toddler is sitting next to you in an “R” rated movie? If you know the answers to any of these questions, please, TELL ME!

I for one am baffled as to why as a culture we have shifted into a self-absorbed and wholly oblivious people. Common sense and common decency are among the most uncommon things in today’s society and nowhere is this more evident than at the movies.

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You know the feeling during a movie when your bladder has conspired mutiny against you; when you’re forced to make the mad dash to the bathroom during the pivotal moment in the film? Well, I know at least one other gentleman this has happened to. This would be the gentleman that followed me into the otherwise empty bathroom mere seconds after I arrived. The elderly gentleman casually and, quite confidently I might add, strolls to the urinal next to me and begins his business. I in turn, disguise my irritation to the best of my ability when suddenly, a tremendous echoing and reverberating fart gets released right next to me. As I turn to instill the most contemptible look of disgust I can muster up, he rolls his head like something out of the Exorcist, looks me right in the eyes, and smiles.

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All you white girls out there will understand what I mean when I say, “I LITERALLY JUST CAN’T EVEN.”

Now obviously this is an extremely unfortunate and isolated event but come on! All too often do patrons of movie theaters believe that respect shouldn’t have to be shown to anyone else but themselves, and even then is probably giving too much credit. College Humor has done a fantastic job in highlighting just about all of the more obnoxious behaviors that are seen in movie theaters with their Movie Theater Recap Video.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. The guys over at ScreenRant published a blog pertaining to all, if not more, of the problems that I have highlighted so far. And I get it, it’s a little pretentious to think that everyone should act a certain way in a movie. People like Amber, who commented on ScreenRant’s post offers up the tried and true defense of this little quarrel when she says:

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http://screenrant.com/movie-theater-etiquette-modern-day-audience-cell-phones-babies-loud-talking-pauly-33151/3/

Hustle even brings up the point:

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http://screenrant.com/movie-theater-etiquette-modern-day-audience-cell-phones-babies-loud-talking-pauly-33151/3/

But what are they really saying here? In a string of comments that shows an overwhelming support of the author’s stance on movie theater etiquette, Amber and Hustle are merely identifying themselves as the perpetrators of the behaviors that are just downright rude, and for which they should be banished to a place that only shows Twilight. But I digress…

For any and all wondering how in-fact a person should conduct themselves at the movies, check out this fully comprehensive and easy to understand video:

Does anyone else have a horror story to share about a movie theater experience with obnoxious people? I’m eager to hear your stories in the comments if, for the very least, to help me forget about mine.

Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- Regency Tropicana Cinemas

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http://memecrunch.com/meme/EPSW/hiiiiiiii

Welcome back to another thrilling installment of my on-going Las Vegas movie theater reviews!!! This one promises to be a doozy…

As a favor for some of my regular readers, or if you’re just stopping by for a quick bit of information, let me sum up for you what I’m about to unfold:

 Everything about this theater deserves a resounding NO.

 Still here? Fantastic. Let’s begin.

First off, I want to apologize for any amount of political incorrectness that makes its way through my review and just so we can reach some sort of middle ground, let me reassure you that I myself, am someone who was raised by parents on a budget. Any opportunity that was available for a family of five to enjoy a nice outing for under $10 was almost guaranteed to be on our agenda. This, much to my enjoyment, always included going to the $1.00 cinemas. And while although I was always aware that we weren’t necessarily going to the big fancy theaters, I do very vividly remember never having any qualms with the environment itself. Perhaps it was the blissfully ignorant perceptions of kid that couldn’t see past Space Jam and Small Soldiers, but alas, we all have to grow up sometime. And so my friends, allow me to present to you the Regency Tropicana Cinemas:

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Photo taken by TadaloT

Not bad you say? Wrong. While although the outside of the theater itself makes a valiant effort to come off as a covert supermarket, it is in fact smack-dab in the middle of an all but abandoned shopping complex. During my visit my car was one of two present in the parking lot. First red flag. Second red flag goes to the bum that immediately approached me upon getting out of my car asking for change. Sorry dude, I’m a poor college student. Still thinking you can handle the ambiance in exchange for the amazing movie price? Here’s a little extra for your consideration:

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Photo taken by TadaloT
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What you see there is the adjacent auto-body shop covered in tagging followed by some hoodlums rolling dice outside of a tattoo shop respectively. All I know is that if I had to pick between a Geo Metro with one out of three rims and my humble Hyundai, I’m probably going for the Hyundai.

Alright, alright; let’s talk about the theater itself. From the first picture you can see that the box office is outside, where again, you pay the outstanding price of $1.00 for a ticket. The entire staff of three young gentlemen was all very cordial and polite, and graciously welcomed me into their confines.

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Truth be told, once you get into the lobby it’s not as terrifying as the parking lot. It is far more dated than anything you may be accustomed to for a regular ticket price, but it does have a sort of classic cinema vibe to it which is nice. I particularly thought the hand painted murals of Jaws, E.T., and Home Alone were a nice touch. Also, there were a handful of classic arcade and pinball machines that added to the retro flavor.

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Photo taken by TadaloT

Sadly, we don’t typically go to the movies to hang out in the lobby (no offense middle-school kids). The manager proceeded to lead me into a theater so I could take some pictures to which he proudly exclaimed, “Oh this one has just been cleaned!” Now, I won’t say that I am in any way an expert at identifying urine odors, but I think it’s safe to say that if you smell something and the first thing that comes to mind is urine, that would be the third red flag. The screen itself is probably about as large as two of your televisions at home combined. The seats are non-reclining, non-spacious, and NOT inviting.

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Photo taken by TadaloT

In short my friends, in the age of HD televisions, Blue Ray players, and RedBox, my advice is to pick up your couch cushions, find the extra fifty cents, and watch your movie at home. At least there you can be confident that you’re the only one with your pants off.

Again, my apologies if this sounds a bit harsh. Feel free to leave me comments below as it will certainly not be the first time I will have been called a cynic.

Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- AMC Town Square 18

Located in the thriving metropolis of Town Square, about two miles off of The Strip, lies one of Las Vegas’ most popular movie theater venues. Situated next to several high class dining restaurants and local nightlife hotspots, it is easy to understand why this theater receives so much attention. My fellow cinephiles, may I present to you AMC Town Square 18:

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Photo taken by TadaloT

Impressive, right? I have to admit myself, that even though this theater is overrun with transients and sometimes drunken vagabonds, this is one hell of a movie going venue.

So why would anyone want to come here risking contact with the aforementioned vagabonds? Two words my friends: UNLIMITED SLUSHEES.

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That’s right. Buy one slushee and refill it as many times as your bladder can withstand the deliciousness. Alright, maybe that might not be as much of a selling point to you as it is to me. For all you anti-slushee advocates out there, this theater has another concessional aspect unique to it, and that is these nifty soda machines that have been popping up at more and more dining venues:

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It’s hard not to admit that these are pretty cool. Mixing and matching flavors to your hearts content and creating that perfect carbonated treat can keep even the most attention deficit of us occupied.

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That’s all well and good, but what about the theater itself? Well to be perfectly honest, AMC Town Square 18 is just about as typical as you will find in the Las Vegas valley. The screens are sufficient but they will not ‘WOW’ you. Seating here is what makes this theater the HARDEST to digest (pun absolutely intended). It’s as if they put the velvet directly onto the plywood underneath and completely forgot any padding. This is definitely going to impact the decision to go here for any of your epic movie going experiences, i.e. Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Star Wars, etc. On top of that, the seats are stationary and do not offer even the slightest amount of reclining. Prepare for your back and/or bottom to feel like you’ve just been sitting on a rock for two hours.

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Photo taken by TadaloT

The next thing I’d like to do is give a shout-out to the architect that decided creating fluorescent orange bathrooms was a good idea. Bravo sir/madam. You have single handedly just stripped everyone on a date of any sort of self-confidence that they might have had going into it. I mean, seriously, if you look good in a bright orange bathroom then first just let me thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Second, you might just have a future in making the movies that we will all come to see at this theater provided we’re not trying to impress anyone.

All in all, I like this theater for the most part. The ambiance is fresh and fun and the concession items I touched on are great additions to the movie going experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Vegas. Going on a weekend might be a hassle as you should be prepared to search for parking and ward off the drunkards once that sun starts to go down.

What do you guys think? Am I right?? Check out what what others had to say on Google reviews, and don’t forget to sound off in the comments below!

Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- Regal Downtown Summerlin 5

Welcome back my friends, to another addition of my on-going Las Vegas Movie theater reviews!

Now, shall we begin?

AMERICA- Land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE. When our forefathers founded this great nation, they did so with the intent of making America the greatest country on planet Earth; and indeed they did. Where else can you put bacon on top of your bacon? Where else can you drink whipped cream through a straw for breakfast? Chuck Norris? Yes sir- in America we wake up every morning and piss excellence.

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http://pixgood.com/talladega-nights-the-ballad-of-ricky-bobby-poster.html

Speaking of excellence, have you heard that they put a movie theater 0.2 miles away from Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX? Why you ask? Because AMERICA, that’s why.

But in all seriousness, this is not your average movie theater and cinephiles across the land should rejoice in the gift that the movie gods hath bestowed upon us. Behold the magnificence that is Regal Downtown Summerlin 5:

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Photo taken by TadaloT

This movie palace bolsters a full service bar, a kitchen that trumps most restaurants, and seating arrangements that will blow your mind. And if you really are curious as to why they would put another movie theater so close an existing one, bear in mind that there is an arrangement in effect to where the theaters show different films at any given time. This is sort of a double edged sword however. Because Downtown Summerlin only has five screens and much more limited time slots, many of the blockbuster type films will see their way over to Red Rock. On the other hand, this leaves much of the artistic and intellectual type films to be enjoyed in the upmost comfort.

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Photo taken by TadaloT

First let’s talk about the seats. Every single seat in the house is an electric, reclining lazy-boy that will rival even the comfiest of at home theaters. You’ll notice in the picture above that every seat has its own tray that you can pull up and down at your discretion. The icing on the cake lies in the individual arm rests that guarantees no one will be invading your personal space unless you and your date want to raise them up and snuggle up together. Bear in mind too much PDA will probably get you asked to leave.

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The screens, while they aren’t IMAX, are gigantic and no one will be blocking your view as the seats are spaced pretty far apart. Another great thing about this theater is that it is reserved seating so if there is a particular seat in the house that you are partial to, you do have the ability to secure it. Tickets will run you slightly more than a traditional theater with early showings being $10.25 and matinee showings at $13.00. Not too drastic considering what you’re getting.

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Now let’s indulge that gluttonous side for just a moment. With the full service bar and kitchen you can have made to order cocktails, hamburgers, and chicken fingers delivered right to you during the film. This theater makes your dinner and a movie date a one stop shop. Prices rival that of most restaurants and bars in Las Vegas and you can check out the full menu from the pictures I snapped below.

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In short my fellow cinephiles, this is how movies were meant to be viewed. For a couple extra dollars and 0.2 miles farther, you can enjoy your movie without a care in the world. Just be sure that your date isn’t too keen on seeing the “Twilight” type movie during your visit, which god willing, they won’t be…

What do you think movie-goers? Am I hyping this theater up just a little too much? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Brutally Honest: Las Vegas Cinema- Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX

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Photos taken by TadaloT

If you’re like me, going to the movies is a special occasion; an experience that, in theory, would be an enjoyable one throughout the entire endeavor. With Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX you will find yourself confused at the end of your movie going experience, wondering whether or not you actually enjoyed your time – and it will have had nothing to do with the movie itself.

Imagine the perfect movie theater setting: very few people, no crying babies, hands not sticking to what you hope is a “sugary” substance, and if by chance someone is seeing the same movie as you, they will have enough common decency and sense to leave some space between themselves and your party. At Red Rock you will receive NONE of those things. It should come as little surprise however, as this is a theater located inside a casino in the heart of yuppie Las Vegas. A place where parents can simultaneously entertain their children while drinking and gambling away any regret they may have about having them in the first place.

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So why should you even entertain the idea of patronizing this theater? At the end of the day, we all want to view the movie we’ve been anticipating for months in the most kick ass audio and visual way possible. Because of the high occupancy of movie goers that Red Rock receives, they are able to deliver pretty excellently on this front. In addition, the amount of movie goers also mandates an extremely wide variety of movie times which makes going to this theater almost always convenient. If you don’t mind rubbing elbows with the person next to you then this theater might be just what you’re looking for.

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Like most theaters, Red Rock charges an arm and a leg for any concession items you may want. Candy will run you about $6.00 a pop while a large popcorn goes for just under $10.00. Ticket prices remain typical, albeit still ever increasingly outrageous, at $11.00 for a matinee screening.

The IMAX Theater is second to none. The seating is much more limited than the normal screening rooms and the sound system will literally blow you away; so if you’re willing to fork over the $18.00 for a ticket, you will not be disappointed.

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All that being said, let’s discuss the important aspects of movie going and why you should consider this theater. A.) The attendants that check your ticket are only concerned with your ticket. This means that any snacks you have tucked away in your pockets or purse will almost assuredly make it in with you. B.) Perhaps most importantly is the way the theaters are situated. There is only one ticket taker at the front of the theaters, so if you’re like me, you know this means sneaking into another movie(s) in order to get your money’s worth is as easy as checking out the times on your phone.


**Disclaimer: My very first job was working at a movie theater which is where the confidence to break movie theater rules comes from. I cannot be held responsible should you get caught in the act.**


All things considered, Regal Red Rock Stadium 16 & IMAX is a perfectly acceptable theater for your average movie going experience. The theater quality, varying show times, and ease of access from the Summerlin and 215 area makes it somewhat understandable when the ball of human obnoxiousness sits down right in front of you.

What do you guys think? Am I totally off base with my review? As always, I invite you to sound off in the comments below!