Fathom Events announced a thirty-fifth anniversary screening of Ghostbusters (1984) a few weeks ago. The Lufkin Cinemark was not a participating theater, the next closest option was in Longview. I checked the AMC website, and turns out that the Longview AMC was the only one of the four local-ish theaters that was showing Judy. So, I decided to make the hour plus drive and have a double feature at the two theaters. I won’t be doing that again, lesson learned.
First up, the website listed it as a Regal Cinema, and yes, it is, but it threw me off to follow the GPS to a Hollywood Theater. I went up to the box office and checked the showtimes just to be sure I was at the right place. I had to go inside to the concession stand to buy my ticket, too.
They do have reserve seating, which is always a plus these days, but sadly back row, center had already been bought. So, I went for next to last row, center for my single seat. When I got into the theater, I realized that was a mistake. The theater has stadium seating, but still has cramped rows. The seats lean back on a spring, very nineties design. I remember when that started to be used for theaters around Dallas/Fort Worth when I was in school. So, when the couple in front of me showed up, and the dude sat down, his seat banged into my knees. It was difficult to get comfortable and I was constantly shifting around during the movie.
On the plus side, they still have digital signs outside the theaters, with the movie titles. That’s something the AMC Lufkin has gotten rid of. Kinda miss it.
More about the event itself later.
Afterwards, I drove about ten minutes away to the AMC Longview, which has recently been remodeled to have reclining, heated seats. They still have two set up in the lobby, so guests can “test drive” them before going into the theater.
The lobby also has a line for Premium and A-List AMC Stubs members. So, I was able to use that to get to the counter faster.
What they do not have – wifi, self service kiosks, the ability to pull up tickets via phone number or card used to reserve the seat. It took two employees and a manager, and I never did get a ticket printed out. The manager asked if I remembered which seat I reserved, and I told him back row, center, in front of the handicap seats. Turns out, mine was the only ticket sold for the 7:20 show at the time, and since I identified it, he said I was “good to go” without a printed ticket.
Thanks to a promotion, I was able to get a drink & popcorn at half price. When I asked about the special promotion, the girl at the counter had no clue what I was talking about, so I just ordered a large drink. When it came up at three dollars & change, she was surprised, and I ordered the large popcorn to go with it.
They are still using the bags, like AMC Tyler & AMC Nacogdoches for their large, AMC Lufkin has a bucket, instead. It lasts longer.
AMC Longview does have the lobby bar, but since I don’t drink anymore, that did me no good. I saw in the theater displayed chairs while waiting for my movie to start.
So, yes, the theater has new seats, but on the same kind of floor they had before, very minimal slop downward. The rows are curved, too. Been awhile since I saw that in a theater. A couple came in, and sat a few rows in front of me. When the trailers started, the guy got up, went to the row in front of them, and reclined those two seats. I assume he did it to get a better view of the screen.
Neither theater is that great, one has the right floor design but bad seating, the other has great seating but a bad floor design. I won’t be going out of my way to visit Longview, Texas for a movie again. Lesson learned there. May have to try out Bryan / College Station the next time Fathom Events doesn’t come to Lufkin.