It's a sad day in Branford. Or it will be anyway, come January 2. The Regal Cinemas 12, which is barely over 20 years old, could not survive the open-and-close of Covid, and announced its doors will finally be closed for good. The staff is staying on for four weeks after that last day, "to gut the place". No one knows what is coming in to take its place, but it does not look to be a movie theater. Much of the talk 'round town seems to indicate a Whole Foods. But that remains to be seen.
In any event, I've personally seen many great movies at the theater, and have many fond memories. Interestingly, some of them radio-related, as we dutifully aligned ourselves with Regal the minute they opened their doors circa 1999.
Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace Still a morning man for KC101, and still working alongside Glenn Beck, he approached the theater about us doing a screening of the long-awaited prequel, and it took some doing. In the end, we created quite a crowd (sold-out of course), with many in costume, only to ultimately be let down, but Beck making off with Jar Jar Binks jokes for years to come.
Spider-Man The first big-screen adaptation of my favorite fictional character ever came not only in 2002, but within days of my birthday in June. As such, we did it again. Celebrating the film's release - and my five year anniversary at KC101 - we did the morning show live from Margarita's in Branford (now, too, long since gone), and then all moved the party over to regal, where we screened Tobey Maguire's debut as everyone's fave wall-crawler. A day I'll never forget.
Coyote Ugly The cult classic enjoyed modest box office returns and was savaged by critics. But it's a film about dreams, the music industry, and knockouts dancing atop bars in NYC to Def Leppard. I was all about it, and it was easily one of the best "date nights" of my life.
Frozen Hands down my favorite on the list (the memory anyway), I was in pure dad mode when my kids (11 and 8 at the time) and I managed to get in to a sold-out Wednesday night-before-Thanksgiving showing of the Disney phenomenon. We were actually there for a "Hunger Games" installment, but got rerouted. Lucky us. It was pure magic. Even from the far right side of the front row. I'll never....EVER..."Let It Go".