As online streaming and other entertainment options are becoming more popular, some movie theater companies are attracting crowds with luxury style options.
James Howard is the project manager for Cinema West’s $10 million investment in the State Theater in Woodland, and at least $2 million of that came from the city.
The theater sat vacant and in need of repair for several years until the company came in. This is the first historical renovation the company has undertaken.
Cinema West owns 14 movie theaters, mostly in Northern California, and has renovated upgraded several theaters to attract customers.
The renovated State Theater will feature leather recliners, stadium seating, state of the art audio and video, as well as a full service bar and restaurant.
“The addition of recliner seats and comfort seating is a new trend in movie theaters across the country and I think those who don’t jump on that bandwagon will be left behind,” Howard said.
The addition of the recliners will reduce the auditorium capacity by half, but has increased sales at theaters with the upgrades by 30 percent.
“Bottom line is, just because you have a 400 seat auditorium doesn’t mean you’re going to sell every seat,” Howard said.
Movie theater ticket sales in North American grossed more than $11 billion last year.