Open Post: Hosted By The Beloved Regal Cinemas Roller Coaster Of Movie Theater Dreams

May 25, 2016 / Posted by:

This Open Post is a tribute to the artist who took many of us on a delicious journey through a movie theater concession stand dreamland in the 90s and beyond. John McLaughlin was a visual effects artist who worked on several movies like Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda 2, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Shark Tale. But before he worked on the movies that your kids probably make you watch 45 times a day (after you’ve watched Frozen 65 times, of course), he created the roller coaster animation that played before every movie at every Regal Cinema.

John died on May 12th at the young age of 46. In his obituary in The Oregonian (via Mashable), it says that the Regal Cinema roller coaster animation was a personal project and one of his favorites:

One of John’s favorite personal projects that he created was the Regal Cinemas preview trailer featuring a roller coaster in space speeding between soda, candy and popcorn that played before each and every movie.

There’s been 4 updated versions of the dizzy-inducing roller coaster, including the latest one which is all Tron-like. It has NOTHING on the original. Hell, sometimes the Regal Cinema roller coaster ride was better than the movie itself.

Thank you, John, for bringing people so much joy, and I know it did, because there’d always be at least one person who raised their arms and screamed, “aaaaaaaah,” during the drops.

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