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Movie theater at McCain boasts ‘regal’ experience

By Eric E. Harrison

This article was published September 14, 2012 at 2:09 a.m.

— North Little Rock’s McCain Mall, which many years ago had a two-screen movie theater on its lower level, will once again become a movie mecca with the Sept. 21 grand opening of the Regal Entertainment Group’s McCain Mall Stadium 12 & RPX.

The 12 theaters will have the latest in projection, screen and sound systems, says Regal marketing manager Robbie Arrington, as well as rocker seats in stadium-seating tiers with high-backed headrests and cup-holder armrests that lift up for easier access, to allow wider patrons more comfort or to allow couples to cuddle.

“When you build a new theater like this, everything is state of the art, top of the line,” he adds. “You’ll notice the difference.”

The RPX in the title stands for Regal Premium Experience, a single screen with enhanced technology.

“RPX presents movies the way filmmakers intended, with powerful, uncompressed surround sound and bright eye-popping images in 2D and 3D,” according to a Regal news release.

Each movie-theater chain is coming out with its own enhanced movie experience, Arrington says, to better compete with IMAX.

The new cineplex will accommodate more than 2,400 patrons; the two largest theaters seat just over 350, Arrington says, with seating for somewhere about 125 in the smallest.

The theater will have soft-opening days Monday-Wednesday, each sponsored by an area media giant, offering $2 movies, $2 popcorn and $2 soft drinks, and each day’s proceeds going to local charities.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is sponsoring Monday’s films to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. On Tuesday, Clear Channel Radio Group is sponsoring and the beneficiaries are the September Fund and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. And Wednesday’s sponsor is KATV, Channel 7, with the money going to the Make-A Wish Foundation.

And once the theater is officially open to patrons - opening weekend will include newly released first run features Dredd 3D, End of Watch and The House at the End of the Street - the price of admission will include free popcorn and soft drinks through Oct. 4.

Regal operates 6, 597 screens in 522 locations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. The Breckenridge 12 in west Little Rock is the only other Regal theater in Arkansas. The company website is REGmovies.com.

There is one hoped-for feature that won’t be present in the new theater, Arrington admits: No mute buttons for cell phone conversations, loud patrons or whiny kids.

MovieStyle, Pages 35 on 09/14/2012

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