The Pinball Hall of Fame has moved away, but right next door to where it used to be stands the Regency Theatres Tropicana Boulevard location, where just a buck and a half, or just a buck on Tuesdays, will get you in to see a not quite first run movie. Eight theaters show recent movies, and the facilities are not tacky or dirty, at least no more tacky and dirty than any movie house where you pay ten dollars or more for a show. There is an arcade in the lobby, just like at the expensive houses, and a snack bar that is also normal in every way. Yes, the movie is a bargain, but the prices of popcorn and red vines reinforce the idea that Regency Theatres is not so different from any first-run movie house.
The Tropicana Cinema has been on the Northwest corner of Tropicana and Pecos for years. At one time it was a normal, first-run movie house, but as more screens were built in bigger multiplexes, especially in places like locals casinos, the Tropicana converted to low-cost second-run movies. At one time all shows were just one dollar, in fact. The low cost movie idea was and is popular, particularly with families who need to pay for mom, dad, and several kids all at once. There was a time when the drive-in filled this need in many places, but the famous Mojave desert heat makes sitting in your car to watch a movie on a summer evening less attractive than it is in places where hot means ninety degrees. Still, the Tropicana Cinema actually closed down for a time not very long ago, with not enough funds to perform some needed repairs and upgrades.
Up stepped Regency Theatres. Based in Southern California, most of the Regency screens are located there. In fact, there is only one other Regency location outside of California, and it is a long way from here, in Denver, Colorado. We are lucky, because a good, low cost movie seems to be getting more and more rare these days.
Of course, at a first-run cinema, for twelve bucks you get 3D, whereas 2D only costs you nine-fifty. At Regency, they have yet to show a 3D movie, and it’s doubtful that they ever will. I’d hate to think how high they’d have to raise the price of popcorn to cover the cost of the glasses that people would make off with. It’s easy to forget that there are some real bargains to be had in Las Vegas. Sure, you can spend a grand in a weekend without even gambling, but if you’re on a budget, you are definitely not out of luck. If you’re willing to wait a couple of months after a movie release, you can catch it for practically nothing right in town at the Regency Tropicana Cinemas, deep in the heart of Paradise.
The exact location and contact information are on the cover of the Weekly Movie Guide reproduced with this article.