With a certain kaiju lizard currently engaging in a brouhaha with a certain kaiju ape, you can guess why Regal Cinemas would want to get its doors back open after a lengthy closure. 

Regal, one of Nashville’s primary theater chains, will begin a gradual reopening today with its Opry Mills location, welcoming guests back after it shut its doors a second time in the fall. After Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending Tenet failed to reignite domestic box-office numbers, Regal opted to close in October following a soft launch in August timed with Tenet’s release.

With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout well underway and a major blockbuster like Godzilla vs. Kong hitting the big screen, Regal has decided to get moviegoers back in house, however slowly. Godzilla vs. Kong raked in a startling $9.6 million in Wednesday showings despite simultaneously premiering on HBO Max, a sign domestic moviegoers may feel comfortable heading back to the multiplex. 

Right now, Regal’s Opry Mills location (including the area’s best IMAX location) is showing that hotly anticipated monster mash, as well as the horror flick The Unholy, the Bob Odenkirk-meets-John Wick thriller Nobodythe Michelle Pfeiffer-led French Exit and Best Picture contenders like Minari and Promising Young Woman. Curiously absent is Disney’s animated film Raya and the Last Dragon, which premiered at home for $30 on Disney+ last month at the same time as its theatrical launch. Cinemark, a rival company, is refusing to book that film due to Disney’s terms. 

Upcoming at Regal this month for movie fans: the video game melee Mortal Kombat (April 23) and the Ben Wheatley chiller In the Earth (April 16). 

Nashville’s other marquee Regal locations, the Green Hills 16 and Hollywood 27, will remain closed for now, with a targeted May 7 reopening date for both locations. That’ll be just in time for the latest Saw film Spiral (May 14), A Quiet Place II (May 28) and Disney’s Cruella (May 28). 

Regal’s location in Mt. Juliet, the Providence, will open May 14, per the company. 

AMC — Regal’s primary competitor in the area with locations in Bellevue, Cool Springs, Antioch and Madison — has been in operation since August. Nashville’s arthouse the Belcourt remains closed, though continues to offer a virtual cinema experience. Available in the Belcourt's virtual cinema next week will be Shiva Baby and Malni — Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore. The Stardust Drive-in is also in season and is showing Godzilla vs. Kong in a double bill with Tom and Jerry right now.  

You can check out Regal’s safety guidelines for reopening on the company's website and decide for yourself if some big-screen beasty fisticuffs are in your future. 

(Nashville Scene

Franklin Theatre back, programming Easter films 

After nearly a year, The Franklin Theatre is back to its regular programming movies for its patrons. 

In lockstep with the Easter holiday, the theater has scheduled screenings for the 1989 audience favorite Steel Magnolias, golden era Hollywood musical Easter Parade and 2011 family flick Hop

Steel Magnolias, starring Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine in one of the most beloved ensembles of its era, will show Friday, April 2, and Saturday, April 3, at 7 p.m. 

Easter Parade, anchored by the music of Irving Berlin and pairing Judy Garland with Fred Astaire, will show Thursday, April 8, at 3 and 7 p.m. 

Hop, which comes from the same studio as the Despicable Me films, will play on Easter Sunday (April 3) at 2 p.m. 

Tickets are available on the theater's website

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