Movie Theater Experiences in West Chester

movie theater

My Obsession with Movies

Ever since I was six years old, movies and going to the movie theater obsessed me. I can actually pinpoint the exact film that flipped the cinephile switch in my brain. It might shock you that my lifelong obsession was sparked by the 1984 horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Before the DVD was put into the player, my mind was racing with all of the worst thoughts. I was scared to watch the movie, but I was equally scared of my friends calling me a chicken. However, once the film began and my nerves settled, I fell in love.

The copious amounts of blood and the eerie music drew me in completely. Now I don’t recommend that you go around showing every six-year-old violent slasher films (unless you’re a particularly cool aunt or uncle that doesn’t have to personally deal with the night terrors). However, I can attest to that film’s power to transfix my six-year-old self.

girl covering her face with both hands

After watching the film, I scavenged for any horror movie I could get my hands on. Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, Evil Dead II. You name it and I watched it (unless it was Child’s Play because I was still deathly afraid of Chucky). That love of horror movies blossomed into a love for film in general that still persists today.

This love even inspired my choice of major at West Chester University. I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to immerse myself in media since I already immerse myself in media anyways. So, I became a Communications major with a minor in Media and Culture.

Where are the Movie Theaters?

One of the problems I’ve encountered after returning to campus is that there are no movie theaters within walking distance. Back home, in Philadelphia, there was a theater down the street from my house that I could walk to whenever my heart desired to see the latest film that piqued my interest. But now, I’m vehicle-less and forced to watch movies on my laptop or TV. Or so I thought.

Luckily, I made the wonderful discovery that my roommates are almost as obsessed with movies as I am and they have cars so that means that movie theaters are back on the menu. In a short period of time, we have already been to two different theaters together: Regal Downingtown and the Movie Tavern in Exton.

Candyman at Regal Downingtown Theater

It was the night before classes started and my roommates and I were sitting in the living room watching television. The impending stress that comes with the beginning of every semester was starting to set in and we were doing everything we could to take our minds off of it. I cannot remember exactly how the topic came up, but we began discussing the new Candyman film. We each expressed our interest in the new film and on a whim we all decided we would take a late-night trip to catch the movie in theaters.

We chose the Regal in Downingtown as it had the most convenient showtime and we could not have picked a better theater. Not necessarily because of the theater itself (though it was nice), but because of the drive there.

We were the only car on the road. It was pitch black with only the car headlights illuminating the asphalt. We drove through a tunnel that only added to the creep factor. The cherry on top of the terrifying cake was when we drove past a dimly lit factory that sent excited shivers down our spines. This eerie atmosphere had us more hyped for Candyman than we initially were.

concrete hallway with lighted wall lamps

We eagerly sprinted for our seats and watched the film. The overall consensus was that the movie was okay, but the experience could not have been better. We had decompressed before the start of the semester and found our go-to theater when we are in need of an atmospheric primer for horror movies.

Shang-Chi at the Movie Tavern Theater

I returned home from Labor Day weekend to an invite from my roommate, Matt, to go see the new Marvel film, Shang-Chi, with him and his friends at the Movie Tavern in Exton. The invite was very last minute, but I would never turn down the opportunity to see a movie in theaters so I jumped at the chance. We convinced our other roommate, Bucky, to join us and we went on our second theater journey.

The drive was less noteworthy this time, but the theater was actually quite nice. The lobby had an immediately more intimate feeling than the Regal. It was smaller and there were only 3 people working there. We got to our reclining seats and I realized this theater served you at your seat! I had never been to a theater where this was possible. I had only heard legends.

Admittedly, I did not take much advantage of it as I only ordered a medium slushee, but Bucky took full advantage and got a giant bucket of popcorn. I truly mean that this was an excessively large bucket of popcorn. The five of us were unable to finish it. As for the movie, it was okay. I am only a casual Marvel fan so I am never as invested as others, but this one was still a good time.

The Power of the Movie Theater Experience

white and red plastic packs

There is very little that compares to the theater experience. The booming sound systems and large screens are enough to immerse you in even the worst movies. It always helps to have a group of friends to make it a fun social experience.

These two experiences have been the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been back on campus. There is nothing better than decompressing with some popcorn, your friends, and a fresh new movie.