Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls' second run theatre won't be second rate anymore. The West Mall 7 Theatre is undergoing a major makeover.
The owners are looking to boost attendance while keeping prices low.
People go for the film, but comfort is important for movie goers too.
"That's where you spend your time when you go to a movie. You spend your time in the chair. When we did this, we wanted to really upgrade from what we had. I like to say we've gone from the worst chair in town to the best chair in town," West Mall 7 Theatres Owner Todd Frager said.
West Mall 7 Theatres is putting in 1250 new red velour rockers in all seven of the auditoriums. It was a top priority after 12 years of running the discount theatre.
"The most important upgrade in this theatre right now is the chairs. Once we did the chairs, now we've got digital projection to upgrade," Frager said.
Hollywood's switch from 35-millimeter film to digital movies also means that the theatre must invest from $50,000 to $70,000 for each new digital projector by the end of 2013.
"We're in this for the long haul. We want to operate this theatre for a long time and we want to make, we don't want to stop at the auditoriums, we want to transfer this everywhere through the complex," Frager said.
That includes new drapes, paint and a remodel coming of the concession stand. But Frager says there are no plans to raise the $3 ticket price or the half-price concession items to cover the costs.
"We do feel these upgrades will help our attendance and that's what we want. We're a high volume theatre," Frager said
One auditorium will have new chairs for tomorrow night's show and all seven should be outfitted with the new chairs by next weekend. The rest of the upgrades will be done by the end of the year, with the theatre remaining open through the entire project.
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