Moscow’s Village Centre Cinemas will soon be the only movie theater in the area with reclining chairs.
Sean Warner, Village Centre Cinemas chief operating officer, said the roughly 520 chairs in the five auditoriums at the Eastside Marketplace theater will be removed and 265 black reclining chairs will replace them, hopefully by mid-March, he said.
The occupancy of the theater will be cut in half because of the large size of the reclining chairs, Warner said.
Movie theater recliners have been installed across the country at an increasing rate the last few years, Warner said. The nearest theaters with reclining chairs are in Spokane.
“It’s really starting to pick up,” he said. “It’s the new trend.”
Village Centre Cinemas owns five theaters in the region, in Moscow, Pullman, Lewiston and two in the Spokane area. Corporate Pointe Developers operates the five.
Warner said it chose the Moscow movie theater to install the recliners, which provide better sightlines for viewers, because it was the most convenient one from a construction standpoint. He said he and others will study how customers like the new chairs and determine if and when to install them in Pullman or Lewiston.
Because of the new chairs, Warner said moviegoers will need to select a seat when purchasing tickets online or at the theater.
Besides new and improved chairs, Warner said the five auditoriums will receive sound quality upgrades. Insulation and new wall coverings will be added in the five rooms and new sound processors will be installed in the five booths of those rooms.
New aisle carpeting will be installed in all five auditoriums and some wall painting will be done as well.
Warner said the hope is to also add a kiosk outside the theater box office near the play area so patrons can pick up their tickets they purchased online or buy them at the kiosk.
In the near future, Warner said a digital box office sign and digital concession menus will be installed.
Chairs in three of the five auditoriums at the Moscow theater have been removed, meaning only two rooms are open for movie viewing at this time.
Once the three rooms are complete, they will reopen and the other two auditoriums will close for construction.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to email@example.com.