Village Cinema 15 plans to go luxe with renovation and expansion

Teya Vitu//May 30, 2018

Village Cinema 15 plans to go luxe with renovation and expansion

Teya Vitu//May 30, 2018

All the seats at Village Cinema 15 at the Village at Meridian will be replaced with leather electric reclines. Photo courtesy of Village at Meridian.

Village Cinema 15 at the Village at Meridian will replace all its seats over the next six or seven months.

All the new seats will be full leather electric recliners, which will reduce the seating in each theater by about half. The large 300-seat auditorium will have about 180 seats, said James Howard, director of project development at Cinema West, the Petaluma, California, owner and operator of Village Cinema 15 and Magic Valley Cinemas 13 in Twin Falls.

“There won’t be any (ticket price) increases,” Howard said. “We have learned at our other theaters, even though we’re cutting the number of seats in half, business has increased 20 to 40 percent (in tickets sold).”

Cinema West has renovated in similar fashion 12 of its 16 theaters in California and Idaho over the past three years, with renovations and expansion currently underway in Twin Falls.

Cinema West intends to build a second theater complex with six or seven screens elsewhere at The Village. This will follow the company’s LUXE format that is now in place in Folsom and Concord, both in California.

“You will walk into the lobby and think you’re at a fancy hotel,” Howard said. “There will be no concession stand. You will have the ultimate date night for adults.”

Food will be ordered from and served at the theater seats.

The estimated $6 million to $7 million LUXE construction is expected to start in early 2019. No architect or general contractor has been selected, Howard said.

Cinema West awaits final city approvals for the $2 million to $3 million renovation of the existing Village Cinema 15 with hopes to start work in mid-June. The Henry Architects of Seattle is the architect and Cinema West is doing the renovation itself.

“At any given time, two auditoriums will be down,” he said.

Cinema West will double the number of auditoriums with Dolby Atmos sound from two to the four largest auditoriums.  The new  Luxe Reel Theatre in Caldwell, operated by a different company, will also have Dolby Atmos in its largest auditorium when it opens later in June.

“This is the most submersive all surround sound (including speakers in the ceiling),” Howard said.

The Cinema West expansion will come in conjunction with the expansion of The Village at Meridian. CenterCal Properties, the El Segundo, California-based owners of The Village, in February 2016 announced a 225,000-square-foot expansion onto two parcels just off Eagle Road.

CenterCal has been silent about the proposed expansion since then.

In the news release regarding Village Cinema 15, CentreCal indicated renderings and detailed plans for The Village expansion will be released in coming months.

The Village General Manager Hugh Crawford was not available for immediate comment.