Regal vs. Cobb

By Tyler Garling

The month of May is officially here. Students are fed up with doing school work and just want to be out for the summer. Before summer comes, students face final exams, AP exams, and final projects. All this work can be stressful for students, so they often look for escapes. One escape is the movies and, thankfully, May also kicks off the start of the summer movie season. Throughout the summer, definite blockbusters such as Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, and Star Trek Into Darkness will be released along with potential sleeper hits like Elysium and Now You See Me. With a crowded summer season, the biggest films will be fighting for the top spot in the box office. However, the fight amongst theaters may prove to be even bigger, especially the never ending battle between Regal Cinemas and Cobb Theatres.

Until Cobb opened on July 15th, 2011, the most popular theaters around were Regal Countryside and Fox in Sterling and Ashburn, respectively. Though the theaters weren’t very far away, many moviegoers didn’t want to undergo the 20-minute long trip. A more convenient option was the classic Tally Ho in Downtown Leesburg. However, people weren’t dazzled with Tally Ho’s dated style, as they wanted a 21st century experience. Cobb Theatres saw the opportunity in Loudoun and grabbed it by the horns. Cobb’s opening was an economic success and drew most of Loudoun to its front door its first week in business.

“Cobb is closer, newer, and it provides a better movie experience,” said sophomore Sam Fabbioli who, along with 107 out of 127 students polled prefer Cobb to Regal.

If Tuscarora were to take a school field trip to Cobb, it would take only a mere 10 minutes to get there. That’s half the time it takes to drive to Regal which, for some, is a huge relief. However, is proximity all that Cobb really has to offer? Fabbioli would be quick to disagree.

“The D-Box seats are awesome, and I like the choices of food you can have during a movie,” explained Fabbioli.

One of Cobb’s biggest features is the D-Box seats that turn your movie into a roller coaster ride. D-Box allows the viewer to feel vibrations and movement that sync with the events taking place on the silver screen. Though D-Box is a whole new way to watch a movie, the tickets are pricey. D-Box is an additional $8 and, combined with 3D for $3.50, can add up to a grand total of $23 if you wanted to see Iron Man 3 at 7:00 pm. There are, however, 19 students who won’t be persuaded by Cobb’s fancy new features. Sophomore Jonah Kight is one of them.

“I prefer Regal more, mostly because of the prices,” Kight said.

Unlike Cobb, Regal does not offer D-Box seats, but this does save you almost $10 on a ticket. A 7:00 pm ticket for Iron Man 3 in 3D would cost you $15 opposed to Cobb’s price of $23. Ticket prices draws contrasting opinions amongst students.

“Cobb’s kind of expensive when you compare it to Regal’s prices, but I think it’s worth it,” said Fabbioli.

“You can’t deny that Cobb is a nice theater, but I feel that I get a better bargain at Regal,” Kight added.

Another feature that draws the eyes, or more appropriately taste buds, of moviegoers is Cobb’s choice of food. Along with the traditional soda and popcorn, Cobb has a wide variety of food like Italian sausage and teriyaki chicken. Many are a fan of this feature, like Fabbioli, but those on Kight’s side would argue that you don’t really need fancy foods when watching a movie.

“You don’t need chicken strips during a movie. It’s a little ridiculous,” Kight said.

The choice of food can be all that matters to one picky moviegoer, but Regal is looking to gain an advantage over its rivals nestled in the Village at Leesburg shopping center.

A new Regal theater opening at the end of 2013  is coming to the Dulles Town Center, just in time for Oscar season. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to eat Italian sausage during the film, the Dulles Town Center is surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants that offer a cuisine above and beyond Cobb’s. Unfortunately, a new theater in Ashburn may steal competition away from both Regal and Cobb.

Alamo Drafthouse, which opened on May 3rd, is basically a theater-restaurant hybrid. Not only that, but Drafthouse is showing the hottest movies of the year, much like Regal and Cobb are. On the downside, a meal is about the same price it is at a restaurant. If you’re interested in a unique movie experience, Alamo Drafthouse would definitely be a theater to check out.

Cobb and Regal will battle against each other to bring in the most money during the packed summer season, but Cobb may have an edge over Regal due to their knowledge of what people want, and knowing is half the battle.