Since the first theater opened in 1905, the film industry has been trying to up the wow factor with the latest technology. Last month we got invited to test the new AMC Prime experience. I should start by saying, I love the movies. The entire experience is really the only respectable way to view a film as it was meant to be shown. With that being said, not all theaters are created equal. It was only a year or so ago we were all sitting in small, half reclining seats packed in next to each other 15-20 in a row. Often times a theaters lack of comfort or pleasant features literally distracts from the film your are there to watch. So lets look at Prime & what you can expect.
From the moment you walk into the new Prime styled theater room you’re hit with a flood of well placed red lights and black leather. AMC did a good job boldly letting the viewer know this is no ordinary theater. I go to the movies a lot and the environment alone had me scanning the room for anything cool & new mounted on a wall or hidden in the back wall. The environment quickly fades though and your attention goes to the screen. With Prime the viewer is getting a better picture & a better sound experience with 7.1 surround. You also get nice leather seats that recline, a feature that is becoming wildly popular.
From a technical aspect, this upgraded viewing experience helps the film be shown in the closest light possible to the directors intended state. To us, thats important. The picture its self is honestly better than what we are used to, and with the immersive sound experience, films taking advantage of the large format space are a lot of fun to watch.
There are a few admin/service features added to this new style of theater as well. For one, tickets at least for now are more expensive. That probably wont change until this level of technology becomes standard for most theaters. However you do finally get the option to buy online or on location and purchase reserved seating. This can make things hard if all the good seats are reserved but if you get tickets ahead of time online, you can walk in last minute without having to worry about your spot. A feature we assume will become standard for all theaters soon.
The Take Away
Our take away from the Prime experience is it’s best to see a film in Prime, than not. However if I was to be honest, every respectable theater chain is rushing to get 7.1, fancy seats & better visuals installed as soon as they can. While Prime is a amazing theater experience, you will soon see very similar options become the norm over the next few years. Don’t take our word, go grab a ticket and find out for yourself.