What Is Rpx at a Movie Theatre?

Theatres are constantly seeking a reason to slap a fee on top of the standard ticket price. When James Cameron’s “Avatar” was released in theatres, theatre chains rushed to install 3D projectors in their theatres. The 3D gimmick allowed theatres to add on a few more dollars to the ticket price, and Hollywood churned out cheap 3D pictures one after another for a few years.

Thankfully, the 3D craze is starting to fade, but theatre chains have already begun pushing for the next big thing.  In a bid to entice larger crowds, certain theatre operators, such as Cinemark and Regal, have started to build their large-format cinemas.

The RPX (Regal Premium Experience) auditorium is now open at the Regal Stadium 14 Theater in Columbia. Is the “Premium Experience” just a new version of the 3D gimmick? In a nutshell, yes and no.

What is rpx at a movie theatre?What is rpx at a movie theatre

RPX stands for Regal Premium Experience, which is said to have a more excellent picture and sound quality than IMAX and includes an IMAX-size screen. I saw “Hugo” on the RPX screen, but it’s significantly smaller than the RPX in NYC that I’ve seen and every IMAX screen I’ve ever seen. It was almost the same size as the other screens in this brand-new cinema.

The lobby and ticket desk are also small, but the staff did a good job moving people along on this day, and the theatre is colorful and clean in general. However, because there were so many big movies out (and only ten cinemas), movies like “The Muppets” and “Arthur Christmas” were only shown on one screen. Families are turning away from “Muppets”, and a “Twilight” show that night. Many people are likely to consider visiting somewhere else with more options the next time.

The theatres themselves are modest, with seating capacities ranging from 150 to 300 people. The RPX theatre has a seating capacity of 300 people, and the picture and sound quality are excellent. For the first hour or two, the chairs are leather and very comfy. You become fidgety as a result. Fidgeting in leather seats also makes a lot of noise. Leather seats are also expensive. However, with a ticket price of $15.50 for 3D movies in RPX, the theatre will swiftly recoup its investment.

The railings attached to the aisle seats, which offer only 16 inches or so of space to get into the row and a heart, are one of the most perplexing aspects of the theatre’s architecture. Heavy people and persons carrying food will have to fit in sideways, which will be a problem.

The seats in the first few rows on the floor and those further up on the sides have poor views of the screen, but that is true of most theatres.

Overall, the new Regal Theater is beautiful, and I understand that the management wanted the renovations finished in time for the holiday movies.

What is Regal Premium Experience 2d, in addition?What is Regal Premium Experience 2d, in addition

RealD is the corporation that owns it. Regal Premium Experience (RPX) is a high-end, big-screen Regal Cinemas theatre that shows movies digitally with increased picture quality and surround sound. Films offered in both 2D and 3D formats.

What’s the difference between standard and RPX movies, too? Regal’s own large-format experience, RPX, features larger displays, better projectors, and improved sound. By now, you’re undoubtedly familiar with that list. RPX will essentially look and sound better than a traditional movie theatre. However, it is not as high-end as Dolby or IMAX with lasers.

Similarly, the question is whether Imax or RPX is better

As previously said, IMAX allows viewers to sit significantly closer to the screen, but RPX has a good sound system and a large screen. Meanwhile, the IMAX ratio is roughly 1.90:1, or 17×9. In comparison to IMAX, RPX has a screen that is significantly larger than dual digital IMAX.

Premium Large Formats with Exhibitor BrandingPremium Large Formats with Exhibitor Branding

Regal’s RPX is a “premium big format” brand, according to the industry. It has a design to ensure that you’ll be watching the film in the most prominent house, with the giant screen, at the Regal complex you’re visiting. Regal’s RPX is comparable to AMC’s ETX, B&B’s Grand Screen, Cinemark’s XD, and others; most chains have a PLF product for which they charge an additional $1-2. (As far as the studios are concerned, the definition of PLF is that you charge more for it.) There are no technical standards in place.)

These formats use standard digital projection technology – usually 4K because of the screen size – and some even use dual-projectors for giant screens to boost brightness. On the other hand, audio formats are rarely standardized, even among movie theatres belonging to the same chain.

Regal employs standard 7.1 audio and low-frequency transducers in each seat in RPX (at least in the one I visit) (which I find to be a distraction rather than an enhancement – seats are not to have transducers attached the harmonics are unpleasant). As a result, I often avoid the RPX, especially when their tickets are more expensive than the IMAX or Dolby Cinema.

Genuinely premium formatsGenuinely premium formats

That leads me to Dolby Cinema and IMAX, the actual “luxury” formats. The most well-known and long-running of these formats is undoubtedly IMAX.

Both systems employ laser projection technology to provide far higher brightness and contrast ratios than ordinary digital projection. Dolby Atmos is used by Dolby, whereas IMAX still operates its audio format. In my opinion, there isn’t much of a practical difference between the two, though I’m sure a Dolby engineer or two would disagree. IMAX also required its own (non-recliner) chairs to be installed until recently.

Dolby has its 3D technology, which is clunky and expensive to deploy (each pair of glasses costs more than $50 and is rather significant). On the other side, IMAX employs linear polarization. When compared to other 3D systems that use circular polarization, both have important limitations.

So, in my opinion, they both fall short in this regard. It’s a toss-up between IMAX and the ordinary PLF offering (e.g. RPX 3D) if you want to see it in 3D. When compared to IMAX 3D, RPX will be gentler on the eyes, but the picture will be substantially less brilliant.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Is RPX worth the extra cash?

It’s an extra five bucks for the RPX ticket, I do not believe that seeing a standard format film in the RPX cinema is worth the extra money.


So, what else distinguishes the RPX cinema from the rest of Columbia’s movie theatres? Not much. The seats are leather and highly cushioned, and you can raise the armrest if you desire.

Although the entrance has excellent blue lighting and an RPX logo, neither feature is essential to the movie-going experience. It’s lovely to see Regal striving to make the movie-going experience more comfortable, but I’m not sure I’d pay a premium to sit in a little more comfy seat.

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