DOWNEY -- The quickly developing Downey Promenade saw the grand opening of one of its main attractions Thursday evening as the new Cinemark Theater held its VIP Event and “first official ticket tearing” ceremony to a crowd of Downey officials and residents.
Guests of the event were treated to unlimited free popcorn and fountain drinks, and were able to enjoy the luxuries of Downey’s newest entertainment option first hand by choosing from several different movie selections being played in each theater. Guests were also able to begin purchasing movie tickets at the venue, including for next week’s highly anticipated "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens" premiere.
Cinemark is the second of the Promenade businesses to open, with 24 Hour Fitness opening not even a week prior. The Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar looks to open within the next month, with all other stores and dining locations following in the next three to four months, as stated by Mayor Luis Marquez at Tuesday’s Mayoral Transition Ceremony.
The brand new theater houses 14 auditoriums with seating ranging from 63 to 211 seats for a grand total of 1,257. Each seat is a leather reclining “luxury lounger” that can turn into a “cuddler seat” when the center armrest is lifted.
Cinemark Marketing Director Bryan Jeffries said that theater goers can expect the same experience no matter what auditorium they are in or what movie they are seeing.
“The feeling was that it doesn’t matter if the film you’re going to see is in its fifth week and is playing in what you always call “the last auditorium,” said Jeffries. “You should have the same experience whether you came week one or week five. Even if it’s an older movie you should have the same experience when you go.”
The theater’s biggest auditorium houses the theater chain’s state-of-the-art Cinemark XD, which offers a wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor screen, digital images, and a custom JBL sound system.
“The films that will play in here are all gonna be your blockbusters. Obviously Star Wars will be in here,” said Jeffries.
According to Jefferies, seating will be primarily reserved specific to each seat, with ushers on hand to check that patrons are in their correct seats and theaters.
Downey’s Cinemark also offers a self-serve, cafeteria style concession stand and some alcohol options including craft beers, wine, and margaritas. Alcohol purchases will be monitored and limited.
Downey Mayor Luis Marquez said it was an “exciting time for the city of Downey.”
“It’s been a long time coming, a long time waiting, planning, putting this project together, going through thechanges of this property; from the movie studios, from Tesla, to now, to really reach into today,” said Mayor Marquez. “Today’s an exciting time not just for the city, but for our residents. The fact that we’re able to bring them quality entertainment: another cinema into our city. It’ just an amazing addition to our city.”
Mayor Pro Tem Alex Saab, who will take over mayoral duties next week, also expressed his enthusiasm for Downey’s expanding future.
“I think our best days are in front of us,” said Saab. “I see there’s going to continue to be expansion of businesses. We’re going to continue to work on improving our public safety. We’re going to continue to make our quality of life better for our residents. And we’re going to continue to support our businesses that are here and also attract quality businesses.”
The new Cinemark Theater will officially open to the public today, with the first showing at 3:00 pm. Doors will open at around 2:30pm.