A short while back, I commented about what a treat visiting Rogers Cinema in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin is and I still stand by that. However, their newest theater (their fifth) leaves a lot to be desired.
Opening this past Memorial Day weekend (for Pirates of the Caribbean, At World’s End), the theater promised more leg room and a larger capacity to take advantage of its larger movie screen and state-of-the-art sound system. And, never being one to pass up something new, I thought I would give it a try.
They didn’t lie to me, the theater was impressive; at least at first.
When my wife and I walked in, we noticed just how large the new theater was. I think you could fit two of their normal theaters inside. And, it was designed so you didn’t have the large rows that most people tend to avoid because they don’t want to trip over people on their way to the restrooms or to get some more popcorn.
And, the seats were comfortable. You were able to recline them back a bit and, unlike in the other theaters, you had plenty of leg room.
One other bonus is the new addition allowed for them to create a self-serve area for your drinks so it was easier to get a refill if you ran out and sped up the line at the concession stand.
However, after seeing Pirates there, I’m not completely sold on the additional theater.
First, while the seats were comfortable and the sound system was as good as advertised, there were very few decent seats available. The best seats (in the middle of the theater) filled up quickly and the other seats give you the same feeling you would get if you were trying to watch a television program while standing in the kitchen; in other words, you’re either viewing it from the side or very far away. If you sit in the back rows, you actually look down at the screen, which, at least in my case, always makes it less enjoyable. And, of course, you always have the two rows that are right by the screen, which means you have to look up to see it if you sit there.
The thing that really shocked me, and I think it’s because they decided to open the theater sooner than planned, was the exit. When we left, I had thought they would send us back through the lobby. Instead, the exit led straight outside. This normally isn’t much of a problem except it meant leaving on the side of the building that wasn’t finished yet. Rather than exiting on a sidewalk or even into a paved parking lot, we had to cross torn up ground that was littered with debris. If it had been raining, I’m sure you would have had people slipping on the mud.
I’m sure I’ll be seeing movies in that theater again and will enjoy every one. But, next time I go, I’m leaving early to make sure I get a good seat and will be wearing a good pair of shoes to get me out that exit door.