The Dispatch

Local Austin movie theaters captivate audiences

Gracie Angeli, Reviews Editor

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The Austin area has dozens of movie theaters, ranging from dine-in cinemas to traditional theaters. I went to three movie theaters, pursuing the answer to which one is the best, and am ranking them based on their atmosphere, service and food.

The first movie theater that I went to was Alamo Drafthouse.

The service was acceptable; I had bought the tickets online so it did not require much human interaction in the first place.

The experience itself was nice; I enjoyed the movie and the ambiance inside the movie theater. Alamo is known for their animations they show before the movie, and they are entertaining but some of them are slightly creepy.

Ticket pricing is average, but after popcorn and drinks or whatever food you get, it can add up and be pretty expensive.

The next movie theater I attended was Regal Cinemas Westgate 11. The service was great; there was a line outside to purchase tickets but the wait went by fast.

There were quite a few people working at the concessions counter and provided fast service. The snacks are kind of pricey, but that is to be expected at a movie theater.

I really like the vibe in Westgate, it is calm and not too crowded. Distractions from other audience members inside the movie are also really uncommon, which is nice.

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The third movie theater I went to was AMC Barton Creek. Since the movie theater is inside the Barton Creek Square mall, it can be really hard to find parking.

It is always very crowded in the theater, so you normally need to buy tickets online beforehand or arrive early if it is a newly released movie.

The theater always has pretty good service; the lines are long but with multiple employees working at a fast rate. The theaters and bathrooms are pretty nice and clean, so that is a plus.

I really like AMC but I don’t like the location or how crowded it normally tends to be.

Overall, I would say my favorite movie theater in the Austin area would probably be Westgate. It is in a good location and close to a lot of other fun things to do, so it keeps your options open on the night’s activities. It is not normally very crowded, has fairly decent service with nice employees and fresh popcorn, and has a very calm ambiance that I like a lot.

My second favorite movie theater would be Alamo Drafthouse, just because it is such a unique experience that you can’t get at any other theater.

They have great food, great service, and all of their locations are pretty nice and kept clean.

My least favorite would have to be Barton Creek Square, just because I don’t like the location.

If you are already at the mall for shopping or hanging out with friends and decide to watch a movie, then it is convenient to have everything in one place.

But if you are just in the mood to watch a movie and want to get in quickly, I don’t think that AMC is the best option. It is always packed and the employees  tend to be preoccupied with something more important than customer service.

All of the movie theaters have their own advantages, and are nice to visit now and then when you are in the mood for a different experience. I think just the traditional Westgate is great for when you want to view a new movie, plain and simple.

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Local Austin movie theaters captivate audiences