Monday, October 19, 2015

Check out the new Raleigh Grande

When the Raleigh Grande cinema opened, it set new standards for the area.  With stadium seating and a few more refreshment options than most local movie theaters, it felt like the big city had come to Raleigh.

That was a long time ago.  In the intervening years, most theaters have caught up with and in some ways surpassed the Grande, and the Grande has begun to show its age.

When I went there Saturday night to see Bridge of Spies, I learned that the Grande's owner, Carolina Cinemas, had apparently decided to fight back by investing in renovations.  Half the theater was closed.  The half that was open looked all new.  It now features reserved seating and only about half the seats it used to have--but all the seats are leather recliners with movable tray tables.  I have to admit that it's pretty spiffy.  Watching a movie from a comfortable, reclining, adjustable chair is a vastly better experience than viewing the same film from a cramped seat and fighting your neighbors for elbow room.

I'm not sure how the Grande makes money on all these changes, because at least as of last night the ticket prices were the same as in other local theaters, but I have to applaud the Carolina Cinemas folks for doing this.  They've definitely made me want to think first about the Grande when it's time to pick a theater for a movie.

Check out the Grande when you next get the chance.  You'll be glad you did.

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