|Address:||2825 W Main St, Bozeman, MT 59715, USA|
This place has an awful monopoly on this town. Concession prices are way too high, but perhaps thats something corporate creates across the board. However, what they COULD control would be cleanliness of theaters (never good) and quality of display. On SEVERAL occasions Ive had lights stay on in the theater until 20 mins into the movie, or for the projectors to be soft (out of focus). Even a couple times the movie has skipped or experience some other digital problem. And sure, you can go complain and get your money back, but this takes forever because there are normally lines. Which is another frustrating thing, because they are not understaffed, theres always plenty of people "working," but usually they have 4 people waiting in concession and only 1 or 2 people working the ticket counter. And believe you me: there are far more people trying to buy tickets than there are people trying to pay massive amounts of money for some bad popcorn. Perhaps the most detrimental thing about this little theater is its lack of selection. They always seem to be missing the movies I want to see. And not just smaller art films: big name films. In fact, what inspired me to write this review after its been stewing in my brain for so long is the fact that they are not showing the new Steve Jobs film. This is a big movie, starring big stars (Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet), directed by a big director (Danny Boyle), written by a big writer (Aaron Sorkin), and distributed by a big company (Universal Studios). Why would they not show it? Missoula, Billings, and Helena are all showing it, so it is not a problem of location. Perhaps the rumours around Bozeman are true, that this theater is run by the religious right and they have some moral qualm with some of these films? I cannot say for sure, but I can say they certainly screened the religious film "The War Room" for a suspiciously long time.... But, alas! I am a cinephile and have no other choice but to go to this theater and fork over my hard earned money. Such is the horrible nature of monopolies...
This theater offers one of the worst viewing experiences Ive ever had, but they can get away with it because theyre the only theater in town. The food is extremely overpriced, a soda and popcorn can cost more than the ticket. The employees dont care about the customers at all and are extremely rude. Its very common to have people talking or texting during the movies but the employees refuse to do anything about it, even if you leave during a movie and tell the staff what is happening. I dont know if this is a legal thing or not but 15 minutes after a movie starts and 15 minutes before it ends, an employee will walk into the theater with a red flashlight, walk all the way in front of the seats, look at the emergency exit to make sure its still there, and then walk all the way back across the seats again. It is incredibly distracting and takes me out of the movie every time. The management has also been very condescending toward me when I only asked if I could buy a ticket to a limited-run movie that was only showing for a single day. The management told me that the movie wasnt showing at that theater and was very rude to me when I asked them if they were sure, since the Regal Cinemas website said that that movie was playing there that day. Sure enough, that movie was playing that day like the website said, but the staff had no idea. This theater combines the worst of a terrible staff and a large chain theater. If there was any other theater within 50 miles I would go there. The Empire Twin Theater in Livingston is great but only shows two movies at a time and it is hard to drive through the pass if the weather is bad, but if the Empire Twin is showing a movie go there instead, avoid this theater whenever possible.
Why are majority of the reviews so critically harsh? Could it be many of the reviewers get what they give when it comes to customer service? Not to dismiss any of the criticisms people have experienced from this theater, but think about how most people behave in public while being served by others; most of the time its the customer thats rude, too demanding, and expects a quality of service that may exceed their expectations. I find the staff friendly and accomodating, the technology is up to date and functioning (excellent viewing and auditory experience from a small theater) and comfy seating. And when there have been technical difficulties, the management has quickly resolved any issues from the technical down to refunding the customer and/or issuing a re-ticket of the same movie for a later time and date. Yes, food and drink could be cheaper, but I cant complain too much about the prices at the concession stand because I dont fully understand the cost of operating a movie theater. Based on my experience, I give 4 out of 5 stars because there is always room for improvement; not just from the staff, but from continually updating the facility and finding new ways to enhance the experience of attending a movie.
Well by the look of the reviews I think its safe to say Im one of few people giving a good review, but thats most likely because I rarely, if ever, get popcorn or drinks. Every time Ive been there the people have been polite. Not overly friendly, sure, but they werent mean to me or rude in any way. Even the times Ive gotten popcorn they were polite enough. The person walking through the theater with the red light, that seems normal enough to me and I believe Ive seen them in some other theaters. To my knowledge theyve never walked through the seats, not that Ive seen. To be honest, every theater has some light whispering and cell phone usage, and because I usually go to the movie where theres only about 5 or less people (I wait a few weeks) it doesnt really bug me and I find it entertaining. I guess Im a bit of a oddity, but I really quite enjoy the theater. Sure, I prefer imax and higher end ones, but for this town, they could have done a hell of a lot worse. But thats just my opinion.
Before Bozeman was discovered and ruined, there used to be 4 movie locations: The Rialto, The Ellen, the Campus Theater (now Town & Country Foods), and CarMike Cinemas at the Gallatin Mall. Now we only have ONE theater: Regal (who bought CarMike) Cinemas Gallatin Valley Mall. Despite the fact that every newspaper in the world touts Bozeman as "the best place to live," one would wonder why there arent more movie theaters. With that said, the Regal Gallatin Valley Cinemas shows the most main stream, terrible movies and allow those attending to text, talk loudly (despite complaints to staff), put feet on the backs of seats patrons are occupying, etc. The new norm is the lowering of the bar on etiquette and catering to those who achieve that status. Post a sign, for goodness sake, stating that there is to be NO TEXTING or RUDE BEHAVIOR (and define what that is) or you will be removed from the theater.
For being the only theatre in Bozeman, I think this theatre does a wonderful job. There are numerous people complaining that the theatre only shows kids movies and blockbusters but for the most part that is untrue. Corporate tells this theatre which movies they are allowed to play. They play tons of movies that are not "big name" movies (Jane Got a Gun, Steve Jobs, Hi My Name is Doris, etc.). They even offer special fathom events and Operas. Yes, there are always lines out the door on weekends but that is because it is the only theatre we have in town....that is expected! Sometimes there are issues with projectors....that is to be expected whenever we are working with technology. The staff is friendly and very, very accommodating. Staff is always available to anyone who has a problem with anything. I will happily continue to give this theatre my service!