Local movie theaters seeing major seating upgrades
The theater-going experience has gone through a big change lately in Louisville, with recliners and reserved seating becoming the new norm.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The theater-going experience has gone through a big change lately in Louisville, with recliners and reserved seating becoming the new norm.
It began nearly two years ago when Xscape Theatres made its Louisville debut. Moviegoers enjoyed a big change to the tune of their own power recliner, which made the theater an instant splash, selling out show after show.
Since then, the theater-going landscape in the city has undergone a major facelift.
Tinseltown completed its overhaul last week. General Manager Rick Gray said all of their 19 screens have been fully reclined.
While Gray wouldn't say how much business dropped when Xscape opened, he did say business is now the best it has been since.
"It took a long time to design it and get it exactly how we wanted it so our customers would enjoy it," Gray said. "We've had a great response. We're seeing an increase, and it's been great."
Cinemark's other Louisville theater in Mall St. Matthews made the change about a year ago, and theatergoers couldn't be more thrilled.
"Being spoiled to be able to sit like this as your home entertainment. It's almost like having a studio to display your movies right there in your own home," David Snyder said.
But, Cinemarks theaters aren't the only ones making the change. Baxter Avenue Theatres in the Highlands also hopped on board.
Managing Director Brian Senteney said he's been planning to make the switch for more than two years, but had to wait for the ones he wanted.
"We were going for reliability and comfort, because they are the best ones, memory foam," Senteney said.
But, Senteney said, with people being able to so easily watch recently-released movies at home these days, theaters really don't have any choice but to make the investment, a $750,000 one for Baxter Avenue.
"When these were installed, we lost 50 percent of our capacity in the entire facility ... and, my business has increased significantly," Senteney said.
However, there is one way Baxter and the Cinemark theaters have Xscape beat.
Not only do they allow you to buy your tickets online ahead of time, you can actually reserve your seat. That's something Xscape doesn't offer, and doesn't plan to offer.
"They don't have to rush to get out here and try to find the good seats and save seats. They don't have to do that anymore," Gray said.
There is one possible downside though to these seats. They're so comfortable, you may spend most of your time watching the inside of your eyelids than what's on the screen
But, if reclining luxury isn't comfy enough for you...
"We're also going to be selling blankets for the recliners as well," Gray said.
Gray also said it's hoped Tinseltown will begin serving alcohol in the spring. St. Matthews already does, and Baxter put in a full bar this year.
The Stonybrook 20 theater, on the other hand, hasn't changed to recliners, and said there are no plans to.
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.