The theater at Colonie Center: thumbs up or down?

ticket counter at the Colonie Center theater

Is that sweet and sour pork I smell? And pizza. And soup.

Updated May 19, 2008

Figuring "Who are we to turn down a movie for $2?", we checked out the new Regal Cinemas at Colonie Center last night. Here's our quick review, Siskel-Ebert-Roeper-Whoever-It-Is-Now style...

colonie center theater exteriorgeneral setup
It's a little weird. The ticket counter is in the mall food court on the floor below. And to exit the theater, you have to walk through the food court because there's no down escalator back to the mall's entry level -- though apparently this escalator does run "down" toward the end of the night (thanks bluefern!).
thumbs down

general fit and finish
It's brand new, so everything is in good shape -- but there's nothing especially eye catching or dramatic or great about it. There's nothing really bad, either.
thumbs up

bathrooms
We didn't do a hard count or anything, but there seemed to be surprisingly limited capacity for a megaplex. One odd thing: the bathrooms have these hand dryers that are like something retrofitted from a jet engine (The Xlerator!). These things are strong. And loud. Two of these blowers going at once sounds like... well... a jet engine.
thumbs sideways

individual theaters
This is an "all stadium" theater, so there shouldn't be a bad seat in the place. That said, the first few rows didn't look like a place we'd like to watch a movie.
thumbs up

the seats
Eh. We weren't fans. They rocked a little too far and hugged a little too tight -- like we were on the Space Shuttle or something. And, alas, the armrests were fixed in place. On the plus side: the arm rests do go up. (thanks, bluefern!)
thumbs down

projection quality
Every screen at this place has a digital projector and it shows. The picture was really sharp. We saw Atonement and Keira Knightly and James McAvoy looked as dreamy as ever. That's the good. The bad: about a quarter of the way into the film, the picture got blocky and then just stopped. It came back up a few minutes later. Presumably this is an opening week glitch, but it' a bad one. To Regal's credit, it handed out free movie passes to everyone after the showing to make up for the interrupted screening.
thumbs up

overall
It's a pretty typical modern megaplex, so you're not really in for any surprises. But the digital projection is impressive (when it works). Parking looks like it might be a problem on a busy night. Still, in a choice between the two mall movie palaces, we'd probably pick this one over Crossgates.
thumbs up

There are still two more days of $2 screenings. If you go, expect a crowd. A few of the screenings sold out while we were there Monday night. And there was crying when someone didn't get a ticket for Veggie Tales.

The Bottom Line

The digital projection is great. The Spectrum's still our favorite local place to catch a flick, though.

Find It

Colonie Center Stadium 13
Colonie Center
Albany, NY 12205

Comments

more important - what about the parking? seems it is hard enough before the movies - no with the movies

I saw a couple of movies for $2 and I also will probably go to Colonie instead of Crossgates now. Still love Spectrum most though.
I think the rocking of the chairs is silly because they don't stay back so you're not comfortable if you rock back since you have to hold yourself that way.
But the arm rests DO go up. They aren't fixed in place... at least not for the 3 different theaters I went into. Being a full figured lady, this was wonderful for me. ^_^
I don't care for the lighted up exit walkways while the movie is playing, it doesn't need to be that illuminated in my opinion.
Also, the escalator behind the ticket counter does go down, but only late at night when the last shows audiences are heading out.

@bluefern: Thanks for the corrections/adjustments. For some reason we couldn't figure out how to get the armrests up. (Note to self: next time just try pulling.) And those chairs are just oddly off balance or something.

And that's good to know about the escalator.

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