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Two Thumbs Up For Theater Upgrade

A night at the movies just got a bit cushier. National Amusements has just completed the next step in its multi-year Broadway Multiplex Cinemas renovation project, which includes seat upgrades in each of the theater’s 12 auditoriums.

Broadway Multiplex Cinemas is one of the first National Amusements theatres to receive the fully-reclining premium seating upgrade. Local moviegoers can now enjoy stadium seating and reclining plush arm chairs in each auditorium, as well as a new advanced sound system featuring Dolby 7.1 Sound.

The new chairs are much bigger and spread out over the auditorium, which means that seating in the cinemas has decreased significantly. With the old seats, the theater could accommodate 3,000 in 12 theaters; now they can seat a little under 1,000.

“We saw that other theater chains were experimenting with luxury seating and had success. Though it’s counterintuitive to replace 3,000 seats with 1,000 luxury seats, they have had success. So we thought instead of offering a lot of seats, let’s offer the right seats,” said Paul Valerio, Director of Operations for National Amusements.

Moviegoers concerned about how the limited amount of seats will affect the box office rush will have the ability to reserve seats in advance online at www.movietickets.com (also available as an app).

“Now customers don’t have to rush in and wait at the box office. They can pick which seat they want,” says Valerio. “I think it’s a huge benefit and a lot of people are taking advantage of it. Because seats are limited people are learning they have to purchase tickets in advance to get the seats they want.”

The Broadway Multiplex Cinemas also recently underwent renovations to the concession stand in the main lobby. National Amusements has several more projects planned for the theater, including introducing closed captioning and vision impaired capabilities in all the auditoriums.

“Every theater will have the ability to show the film in closed captioning. If you needed to view the captions, you can get a set of glasses and the captioning would appear on the glasses,” Valerio says.

With the rise of movie ticket prices and increased availability of movies via Netflix, Redbox and other streaming services, movie ticket sales have dropped over the past decade. Valerio says he’s hoping that with these upgrades to the Broadway Multiplex Cinemas, people will come back to the theater.   

“There was a lack of comfort before. People were asking why they should pay $10 to sit in an uncomfortable chair,” says Valerio. “But that won’t happen anymore. We spread the auditorium out so you walk in and still feel like you’re in your living room at home, with an awesome visual and sound experience.”