Theaters compares: movie time on the Main Line

The Regal Anthony Wayne movie theater – Tyler Zimmer ’21

There’s something about that feeling that gets me every single time. They rub it in your face in the preview before the movie: some local filmmaker patched together every satisfying fizzling of Coke and popping of corn. You travel along that gluttony roller coaster, hypnotized. Seven- and seventy-year olds alike stare in awe, serotonin levels through the roof as they indulge in oversized buckets and cups filled with goodness. 

     We distract ourselves from the speed of the world with Netflix, and Netflix is good for some things. Watching television should be an escape, but Netflix’s convenience makes it more like background noise. If you want to be truly immersed, get up off the couch and drive to a movie theatre. But which one?

     There are ten commercial-grade movie theatres within an eight-mile radius of campus. If you’re going to make the effort and spend the money doing something you could do with a few clicks of the remote, you must make an informed decision.

     Size is the first factor. Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond? Does a little bit of history pique your interest? There’s some give and take when choosing a theatre to suit your needs. Reel Cinemas owns a variety of historic theatres. In our area, think older, smaller, more comfortable places. 

     Fifth Former Jonny Flieder, a Narberth man, said, “I love Reel Cinemas Narberth because of its small, homey feel.” 

Reel Cinemas Narberth 2 – Matthew Schwartz ’21

     Along with the feel of a smaller theatre, ticket prices tend to be lower. In nearly every other market, corporate America has driven down prices for big companies and raised them for small companies. Movie theatres have done the opposite. 

     Price is the second factor. Both Narberth and Wayne set their non-matinee tickets at $12 per adult, $9 per child or senior. The next tier, mid-size, includes AMC Marple and Regals like Edgmont Square or Plymouth Meeting. They mark their tickets around $14. Not a game-changer. But the larger theatres that offer IMAX and 4DX are another beast: $21. This price is ridiculous, especially if you add popcorn and a drink on top of it. 

AMC Marple – Google Maps Streetview

     But one factor is more important than all others. 

“Something about putting your feet up just makes the movie experience that much better.”

Drew Loughnane ’21

     Drew Loughnane reveals what really matters at the movies.

     “I don’t know how to explain it,” Fifth Former Drew Lougnane said. “Something about putting your feet up just makes the movie experience that much better.”

     Recliner chairs are everything. But that is not even the best part; you can find these chairs at the aforementioned mid-size theatres. At one of these, you get the comfort of a Netflix binge session paired with the aroma and escape of a theatre. 

     If you feel strongly about supporting your local theatre, be my guest. Or if you want to go pay $21 for a gigantic screen and super loud speakers, that’s completely your decision. But remember I told you that there is a better option.

     Sixth Former Charlie Baker agrees.

     “Go to Edgmont. Go to Plymouth Meeting. Go to Marple,” Baker said. “The seats are amazing.”

Author: Tyler Zimmer '21

Managing Editor Tyler Zimmer '21 has written for each section of The Index since 2018. He previously served as Arts Editor. In addition to journalism, Tyler plays baseball and golf, and he is often found working in the art studio.