Well, we're going to take the plunge and see Star Trek Beyond at the discount matinee today.
Even mediocre movies (of which I sincerely hope this one isn't) are tolerable at Century Square Luxury Cinemas in West Mifflin. At the location of Carmike's old $1 discount movie house, this place is impressive. It features electric reclining leather seats, reserved ticketing for every seat, ticketing kiosks, Dolby 7.1 sound, a full bar (if the movie's really bad), and an "expanded" concession lineup.
You can select and purchase your seats online via the web or with their app for iPhone or Android. When you arrive at the theater, all you have to do is show your phone's screen to the usher, find the theater, and take your seat.
The presentation quality is superb. The digital projection is bright and in-focus, and the sound is balanced and takes full advantage of the enhanced Dolby 7.1 soundfield. Speakers are well-placed, and despite what's noisily bouncing around in the format's four surround zones, dialogue is always clear and easy to hear.
One caveat: at most local movie houses, the picture usually starts about a half-hour after the published showtime, due to commercials and trailers for upcoming features. At least for our last two visits, there were no ads and just a few trailers. (UPDATE: They do have the continuous ad reel playing before the start time of the movie. But at exactly 1:15, the house lifghts dimmed, and just three trailers were screened. The film started at about 1:20.)
The "luxury" comes with ticket prices significantly higher than non-luxury competitors. Standard 2-D matinee adult admission is $8 and regular admission (after 6 p.m.) is $11 on weekdays and $12 on weekends. 3-D pictures have a $3 surcharge. I feel the price is justified, given the extra convenience and comfort of the facility. No more waiting for 20-30 minutes at a Carmike theater to purchase tickets at the snack bar because they did away with the ticket kiosk (box office) to save money. There's no risk of getting non-adjacent seats in the first row or, worse, discovering the show's sold out.
The downside of those extra-comfy seats... if the action on the screen starts becoming a bit tedious, you can find yourself nodding off. But at least you'll be doing it in style.