The temporarily-closed movie theater in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square will reopen as Cinépolis Luxury Cinema following a complete renovation.
By Ronni Newton
The movie theater in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square is undergoing a complete transformation, and will reopen in the next several months as a Cinépolis Luxury Cinema – the chain’s first luxury theater in the Northeast – offering upgraded seating and in-auditorium waiter service of selections from a gourmet menu.
All six of the existing auditoriums in the 21,462-square foot theater are being revamped with “cutting-edge sound and high-definition projection technology,” Cinépolis announced in a news release. Each auditorium will also be outfitted with luxurious leather seating arranged in pairs, each equipped with space for food and beverages.
Although the number of seats overall will be reduced, the intent is for the quality of the experience to be greatly improved.
“Comfort is key when providing guests with an elevated movie-going experience,” Blue Back Square Marketing Director Amy Cholowa said. “As you know, sometimes less is more. As part of the property-wide renovations, Cinépolis West Hartford will be replacing the current seats with new, fully-reclining leather seats to ensure comfortability and enhance the overall movie-going experience. The installation of these larger seats will slightly lessen the total seat count of the theater to 359.”
The Cinépolis movie theater closed on March 6, to accommodate the complete transformation of the auditoriums, lobby, hallways, and more – a multi-million dollar renovation according the to news release. The plan is to reopen this summer, although a date has not yet been announced.
The switch to the luxury model has been well-received at theaters in other parts of the country, Cholowa said.
At Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas West Hartford, each seat will be equipped with a push button enabling guests to use the in-theater waiter service. Orders can also be placed in advance through the Cinépolis USA mobile app.
Cinépolis has already transformed some of its properties in other parts of the country to the luxury model, and a spokesperson said that most movie-goers order food in advance, even before the previews begin, so that the food arrives just as the movie is set to begin.
The waiter service is not obtrusive, the spokesperson said, and should not detract at all from the movie-going experience even if people place an order after the show has started, or decide they want something else during the movie.
“With the larger, luxurious seats not only do you have space between them but rows aren’t stacked on top of each other,” the spokesperson told We-Ha.com.
The waiters are trained to approach with a “ninja-like stealth,” the spokesperson said, and are able to take orders during the show while being respectful of those watching the movie.
Menu items have not been determined yet, and tend to differ between theaters and are adjusted seasonally. Other Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas offer items that include an assortment of appetizers like nachos, hummus platters, cheese plates, chips and salsa, and wings; main dishes like burgers, gourmet tacos, wraps, flatbreads, and salads; and specialty desserts. Nathan’s hot dogs, as well as popcorn, are offered at all locations.
Cinépolis’ renovated lounge-like lobby in West Hartford will also include a concession stand offering standby favorites like popcorn and candy, as well as assorted gourmet items.
Prices for food, beverages, and movie tickets have not been provided.
Cholawa said she is personally looking forward to the renovation. “I have a feeling I will be routinely spending some of my off time at Cinépolis!” she said.
In addition to showing movies, Cinépolis theaters will all be AV-compatible, and available for rental for events and business meetings, “offering engaging and out-of-the-box venue spaces for small groups or large parties booking a complete theater or individual auditorium buy-out,” the news release states.
Cinépolis purchased the West Hartford theater, which was formerly owned by Bow Tie Cinemas, in July 2016, but made few initial changes to the property or operation.
Cinépolis, which was founded in Mexico in 1971, is the fourth-largest movie theater owner worldwide and currently operates a total of 712 complexes in 14 different countries, with U.S. locations in Southern California, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Ohio.