A new eight-screen movie theatre may be open in St. Albert in time to catch the opening of the Predators movie in August 2018.
Neil Campbell, president and CEO of Landmark Cinemas, says the theatre is expected to open next summer.
On June 15 Campbell and Darin Rayburn, CEO of Melcor Developments Ltd., gave a sneak peak into the construction of the new theatre in Jensen Lakes subdivision.
Rayburn said he was excited to partner with Landmark Cinemas in providing St. Albert a new theatre. The theatre will be an anchor tenant for the new Jensen Lakes Crossing shopping centre.
Rayburn also announced a new restaurant slated to open in the area: Canadian Brewhouse. The business had a food truck on site for the sneak peak.
Melcor Developments Ltd. began construction in its Jensen Lakes subdivision in 2014.
Campbell and Rayburn posed with popcorn and pop while sitting in comfortable La-Z-Boy reclining chairs outside the theatre, which is under construction nearby. The theatre will be Landmark’s first in Canada to be furnished entirely with La-Z-Boy recliners.
The theatre is about 35,000 square feet and will have about 900 reclining chairs.
Reclining chairs have proved popular with moviegoers. Campbell said other Landmark theatres with standard chairs typically only fill 20 per cent of their seats. Renovated theatres that have added the reclining chairs fill 50 and 70 per cent of their seats.
There will be eight auditoriums in the theatre with standard screens. Campbell said while there won’t be any IMAX screens in the newly opened theatre, there’s potential for upgrades in the future.
The theatre will feature online payment for both tickets and concession foods. People can also download the app called ATOM, which will allow reservations and purchases straight from a mobile phone.
“What we’re doing is taking all the pressure points out of going to the movies,” Campbell said. “We hate lines, so we’ve taken care of the lines.”
Landmark Cinemas is the second largest motion picture theatre company in Canada, with 44 theatres throughout Western Canada, Ontario and the Yukon Territory.
“We’re really proud that we’re in St. Albert,” said Campbell, who lived in St. Albert from 1978 to 1984. He said it was only fitting that the first theatre to be built with reclining seats be done in St. Albert.
“The St. Albert community has always deserved to have the best, because they’ve always been the best. I’m really glad that we’re the guys bringing it here first,” he said.
Coun. Sheena Hughes said she was excited for the new theatre to open its doors.
“It’s going to be a real joy to be there, and it’s going to be an amazing experience for everyone. I think it’s going to be really appreciated by residents.”
As a movie-goer, she said she’s looking forward to trying out the new theatre. Hughes added that she felt the theatre was a much-needed facility for the City of St. Albert.
“We don’t have a theatre and it’s been a demand for people to have one,” she said.
Coun. Cam McKay said while he doesn’t normally watch movies at the theatre, he was looking forward to the new facility opening. He said he felt it would be a positive addition to St. Albert.
“I think it’s going to be great,” he said. “It’s going to provide another entertainment option for people here in town and for the city, I’m always happy to see us get more commercial development.”