Monday, March 2, 2020

Deals / News: Showplace ICON Tysons Corner - New Theater and Free Movies Through 3/4/20

Showplace ICON is opening a new location at Tysons Corner, near the AMC Tysons Corner theater.  To celebrate this, they are doing a soft launch through Wednesday, March 4, 2020 to get ready for their grand opening.  During this time, you can see any movie at their theater FOR FREE!  Tickets go live an hour before the movie starts, you just have to be there in person to secure your seat.  If you sign up for their free rewards program, you also get two free small popcorns and drinks to enjoy at the show.
To view showtimes at the theater, click this link.

We went to check out a show during the soft launch and have some quick thoughts below:

Parking: There is a parking garage at the theater.  It is a little small but there seemed to be plenty of open spaces during the soft launch.  The theater itself validates parking so you can park and enjoy a show without worrying about a parking tab.

Ticketing: Tickets are all handled with kiosks before you enter the theater.  You can browse showtimes, sign into your reward account, and pay for your tickets right out front.  The whole process was relatively seamless, but the movies were free so there was no payment needed.

Food: The theater is going for an upscale environment, and should have a full array of food and beverage options.  They are hoping to offer food that is good enough to attract people who aren't even seeing a movie.  We will see if that occurs.  We had the popcorn and it was delicious.  Fresh with just the right amount of salt and butter! 
Update: We also sampled a few of their bites at a recent event, including cheese tortellini, a delicious pizza, and a bite that had salmon, bacon jam, and avocado.  All were very delicious!
Recliners: The recliners are the best in the business!  They fully recline but also offer a power headrest, so you can lean back but still keep your head pointed at the screen.  They also offer two levels of heat so you can stay warm during the movie.  The heat stays on for about 20 minutes so if you want to keep the heat, you have to keep turning it on.  But overall, these were insanely comfortable!
Screen: The theater screen was fine.  It was plenty large and clear, but I did notice some pixelation in certain scenes.  The theater advertises certain films as 4K, so I imagine this theater had a 1080 screen or something similar.  When you get to be the size of a theater, pixelation is going to happen if you sit close enough.  It wasn't very distracting, but it was disappointing that a brand new theater wouldn't have 4K all around. 
Update: We also checked out a movie that was on their 4K screen and it looked great!  So if you are heading over there and care about picture quality, I would go with the 4K option if it is available.
Sound: My theater was equipped with 7.1 Dolby surround sound.  It sounded very good, but I was a little disappointed that Atmos wasn't offered on all screens in a brand new theater.  Thankfully the sound was loud, but not deafening.  It filled the theater but at no point did it hurt my ears! 
Update: We also went to a movie in an atmos theater that also sounded great.  Nice balance of sounds and again, loud and full but not deafening.

Subscription Service: Showplace ICON has a subscription service for $9.99 a month.  This gets you one free ticket to a movie and any additional movies are $9.99 each.  It also gets you rewards and 20% off on food items.  This is not a bad deal, but with Regal Unlimited and AMC A-List offering substantially more movies for about twice the cost, I don't know how many hardcore movie-goers it will pull away.

Overall, the new Showplace ICON Tyson's Corner location is a very nice theater that should offer more of a moviegoing experience.  The only shame is that my theater's screen and sound were not up to what I expected from a brand new theater.  However, the upscale food, easy ticketing kiosks, and amazingly comfortable chairs should provide a nice option for those hoping for a more refined movie experience.  

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