The above video is a familiar sight for anyone who’s ever visited a Regal Cinemas to see a movie. Before each screening that delightful CGI throwback to the cheesy intro videos of yore sets the tone for the film to follow. The theater in Atlanta at which the vast majority of press screenings happen (and happens to be very near my apartment) is a Regal, so I’ve seen this intro so many times that I know every note of the wailing guitar, the exact amplitude of each piece of floating popcorn, and I noticed when they changed one of the candy boxes a few years ago. Hell, I probably could have told you the account number on the Regal rewards card if you’d asked me on the street.

Despite all that, I’ve always had two questions…

One: How much did it cost to rent the Miramax logo to film this in?

…and much more importantly…

What in the hell does this thing do?!

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Surely you’ve noticed it- that seeming innocuous metal… thing slowly descending and ascending, only to make that BAWMP sound as it touches the opposite surface. What is it doing though? What function does this piece of machinery serve within this cosmic roller coaster? Does it merely produce energy, or is its purpose more nefarious?

Perhaps it is the digital drumbeat by which all of the robot slaves that operate this coaster time their operational rhythm..?

I want answers, and I’m not sure Regal is prepared to give them to me. This is a question I have stood up and shouted in a theater before, though no answers were satisfactory.¬†Ever come up with any theories of your own?