Column: The big screen is worth the trip

More than a dozen movie titles are playing on all three Regal Cinemas in Gainesville as temperatures soar into the 90s this holiday weekend. 
It might be time to venture out of your cozy home movie set up to completely escape from reminders of the real world. 
And if you are a Regal Unlimited movie pass holder, you’re forking out $20 a month since the passes have been reactivated.  
“As many movies as you want, as many times as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want,” is the deal Regal pledges — plus 10 percent off all food and non-alcoholic beverages in the theatre.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light for movie theaters to reopen in Florida last June, but local Regal Cinema locations in Gainesville did not open up right away.
It wasn’t until Aug. 21, 2020 that Regal locations opened back up and played classic movies for $5, but the theaters failed to draw enough crowds to stay open.
In October, Regal parent company Cineworld Cinemas announced on Twitter, “We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.”
Last month Regal announced which theaters would be opening throughout the United States. 
In Gainesville, Regal Celebration Pointe & RPX and Regal Butler Town Center reopened on April 23 and Regal Royal Park was the last to light up on May 14. 
Everything we love about the movie theater experience is still there and maybe even better. 
What hasn’t changed at our local movie theaters are the 60-foot screens giving you no choice but to pay attention while snacking on hot buttered popcorn and hearing other moviegoers reacting to the story playing out with laughter or gasps or tears.
What has changed are subtleties such as Coke products switching to Pepsi, some new choices in the candy selection and being issued new cups for drink refills or new bags for popcorn refills.
The movie theater staff are wearing face masks, but they are not required for customers. 
“Masks will not be required unless mandated by state and local guidelines,” is the rule according to the re-opening details on the Regal website.
Movie times have shifted from mostly afternoon and early evening times to earlier in some locations. Regal Butler Town Center is showing films starting after 3 p.m. and the Regal Celebration Pointe and Regal Royal Park locations have films scheduled from noon on for the Memorial Day Weekend.
“As we reopen our theatres, we remain committed to the safety of our patrons and employees,” Regal pledges on the company website to address any concerns. 
This Memorial Day weekend, movie theaters are hosting the first blockbusters “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Cruella.”
For more info on local movie offerings visit the official Regal website


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