Movie theaters in Greensboro offer variety

With seven different movie theaters, Greensboro offers many options for prospective moviegoers.

Greensboro is not a large enough city to get limited movie releases or “platform releases,” which are movies released in a few cities to determine if they do well enough to be released widely. For example, “Call Me by Your Name” was released in New York about one month before it was anywhere in North Carolina, but NC eventually got the film because it attracted a large crowd in New York. Between the four main cinemas Greensboro has to offer, there are still a plethora of movies to see and places to see them.

One thing the Greensboro cinema scene has going for it is diversity. The Regal Grande at Friendly Center offers a luxurious upscale experience. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Cinemark Brassfield in the Brassfield Shopping Center is more inexpensive. RED on Battleground Avenue has a very sleek and modern appearance. The Carmike (now called AMC Classic) off Wendover is classic and old-fashioned.

Each cinema has its pros and cons. As far as highlights go, only The Grande has Regal’s “premium experience” (RPX) showings. At Brassfield, which is the cheapest, even regular adult tickets after 6 p.m. are under $9.

The Carmike is considered by many to be wildly outdated. Tickets are bought at the concession stand and on a few occasions, the screens glitch to a blue screen while showing a movie. It has some negative reviews on Yelp for instances like this and for being too old, but the cinema’s age can just add to the experience. They have randomly-placed bathrooms, 30 minutes of previews and double seats in three theaters. For movies in theaters five, six or 18, dates can sit side-by-side with no armrest between.

RED is also a theater known for its personality. The walls are bright red, and a wine glass chandelier hangs over the lobby. In 2015, Carousel Cinemas, a Greensboro classic steeped in history, was taken under new management and became RED. Naturally, most features were redesigned, but in the far back of the cinema’s right wing sit four “art-house theaters,” a signature Carousel facet that has remained relatively untouched. In those theaters, tickets for any showing, usually foreign or little-known films, are $6.50, and the tiny stadium-style seating feels like a little piece of the past within the modernity of RED as a whole.

To venture beyond the “big four” in Greensboro, other Greensboro theaters and the surrounding areas also have a lot to offer. Tickets at Sedgefield Cinemas on High Point Road are $2, and it has the same classic atmosphere of Brassfield and the Carmike. Also, The Palladium in High Point is just like The Grande, but also includes IMAX. In Winston-Salem, there is Aperture Cinema, which screens obscure films not found anywhere else, except maybe RED’s art-house theaters.

Expensive or cheap, high-class or plebeian, Greensboro has movie theaters to fit a variety of tastes. Before waiting until a film is up for rent on Amazon and watching it in their beds, Greensboro citizens have many opportunities to brave the inevitable whispered commentary and watch it with other community members in a local theater.

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