Go ahead, put your feet up. That's the message AMC Theatres wants to give patrons of its newly remodeled movie theater inside Penn Square Mall.
The red, cozy, power reclining chairs now found in each of the theater's 10 auditoriums allow moviegoers to watch a movie in supreme comfort, with footrests and cup holders. Other upgrades include new options at the concessions, like chicken fingers, jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, with its seemingly infinite drink combinations.
Renovations also included the restrooms, carpeting, theater screens and sound systems inside the auditoriums. Total cost of the project was $1.6 million, according to a commercial building permit filed with the city.
AMC bought the theater in November from Dickinson Theatres with the intent to modernize it and add amenities similar to its other theaters across the country, said AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan. Remodeling began in February but the theater remained open throughout.
“These kinds of remodels drive people to the theater,” Noonan said.
While AMC has been remodeling its theaters throughout the country, there are no plans to undergo similar projects at AMC's other two Oklahoma City theaters, which are at Quail Springs Mall and Crossroads Mall.
A renovation project at Tulsa's AMC Southroads 20 theater is underway.
Jeff Dozier, general manager of Penn Square Mall, said the remodeled theater is one of many amenities for mall shoppers.
“Moviegoers are flocking to the theater to catch Hollywood's latest hits and we couldn't be more thrilled with the response,” he said. The mall itself is in the midst of an extensive renovation project, including new entrances and an overhaul of the food court.
Noonan said the most noticeable change to the movie theater is the chairs, which are larger and more comfortable. Fifty to 70 percent of the seats were removed from each auditorium to make room for the new chairs, which also require wider aisles and stadium seating.
“We lose a lot of seating capacity but we find the attendance goes up. People are coming to the movie for the experience,” he said.
What didn't change are the ticket prices, which are $5 before noon and range from $7.75 to $12.50 for all other shows. AMC also plans to add reserved seating to the theater in the coming weeks.