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ABQ movie experience about to get much bigger

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The “big screen” experience in Albuquerque is about to get bigger.

Regal Cinemas’ new 16-screen theater complex at Winrock features large-screen RPX and IMAX theaters. This is the RPX — Regal Premium Experience — theater. The multiplex can seat more than 3,000 across all 16 screens. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Regal Cinemas’ new 16-screen theater complex at Winrock features large-screen RPX and IMAX theaters. This is the RPX — Regal Premium Experience — theater. The multiplex can seat more than 3,000 across all 16 screens. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The new Winrock movie theater – and its large-scale IMAX and RPX screens – will open to the public for the first time this weekend.

The 16-screen Regal Cinemas complex is hosting a series of “charity days” Sunday through Wednesday as a precursor to its official grand opening Nov. 15.

The fundraising festivities don’t include the latest releases but rather a lineup of mostly recent films like “The Lone Ranger,” “Jobs” and “Monsters University.” Tickets, popcorn and soft drinks cost $2 during the charity run.

The preview days will give moviegoers a chance to see the freshly finished, 71,156-square-foot venue and its IMAX and RPX (Regal Premium Experience) theaters.

Both formats offer larger screens and better sound quality – and a higher ticket price, although a Regal spokeswoman could not say yet what Winrock would charge for admission when it begins showing the newest releases next week.

The multiplex – formally called Regal Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX – can seat more than 3,000 people across all 16 screens.

It also will provide an expanded concession experience. By next week’s grand opening, Winrock will offer an array of items like cheeseburgers, onion rings and chicken wings, in addition to the standard movie-theater popcorn and pretzels, according to the spokeswoman.

The theater replaces Regal’s weathered Winrock 6, which is still standing nearby.

Darin Sand of Goodman Realty, the company behind Winrock’s redevelopment, said demolition of the old site should begin in the next month.

The IMAX theater is the highest-profile addition to Winrock since the current ownership announced redevelopment plans in 2008.

A pair of restaurants opened last fall – BJ’s and Genghis Grill – and two more are currently in the pipeline: Joe’s Crab Shack and Dave & Buster’s.

Sand said talks are happening with “some really good tenants” and that more announcements hopefully will come soon.

The theater could provide some more momentum.

It “will generate a lot of business for existing tenants at Winrock, and we anticipate new tenants will see the benefit of being there because of the draw that the theater is bringing,” Sand said.

For more on the theater’s charity days schedule, go here.

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