In history class, you probably learned about the excesses of the ancient empires, the vast riches and wild innovations associated with the Romans and Greeks. A single visit to Regal Grand Parkway will send visitors into a tailspin of revisionist history. Impressive as their digs were, we’re certain Caligula and Alexander the Great never enjoyed the luxuries afforded to today’s common movie-goer in this Richmond-area theater. If you have a ticket to a matinee here, you’ve got it better than they ever did.
It’s appropriate to compare these historic civilizations to an evening at the movies here since the décor of the 22 screener recalls Ancient Greece specifically, with tall columns, marble floors, ornate stairways and fixtures etched in gold. But, the Parthenon never had Dolby Atmos sound technology or 80-foot screens. There are motion seats that come to life with the onscreen action, comfy recliners and VIP food and drink services. The entire upper level of the massive building is devoted to movie-goers 18 and older and boasts a full-service bar and plush lounge areas for watching sports or enjoying date night. A lower-level bowling center and arcade draws residents from nearby suburbs for family fun.
The pandemic nearly reduced the best movie theater in the Houston area, and many others like it, to ruins. Regal Grand Parkway didn’t resume post-lockdown operations until this spring and the restart has been steady and cautious. But seeing recent blockbusters like Black Widow and a 50th anniversary reissue of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory there were reminders of what we’ve sorely missed. It might be convenient to watch the latest release at home, but it’s nothing like the extravagance of the modern-day movie theater experience, offered with opulence that would drop an emperor’s jaw.
7301 W. Grand Parkway South, Richmond