A state-of-the-art movie theater experience that features reserved, electrically-reclining seats and a fast-casual food menu offering more than traditional popcorn, soda and candy is coming to Rapid City.
According to a release from Spinosa Real Estate Group, managing partner of the Rushmore Mall, renovation of the AMC Classic Rushmore 7 Theater is expected to begin in early July and will include installation of elevated seating and upgraded Dolby 7.1 sound system.
“Once you sit in those seats sitting in a regular seat in a theater won’t really do it. It’ll hook people immediately,” said John Bloemeke, president of Durham, N.C.-based Golden Ticket Cinemas, which recently purchased the Rushmore 7 venue. “Your feet go up and you relax and watch the movie.”
The Rushmore 7 theater will close later this month. Not involved, in the sale or remodeling, is the AMC Rapid City 10 theater on Knollwood Drive.
Once remodeling of the seven-auditorium theater, to be renamed Golden Ticket Cinemas Rushmore 7, is complete, movie-goers may reserve seats online or in person and order from a menu, including pizza, pickle fries, calzones, burgers and wings along with the movie staple popcorn.
Beverage selections will include beer, wine, smoothies and milkshakes along with sodas.
The addition of larger reclining seats will cut the overall seating capacity by about 40 percent, from 1,100 to less than 700, Bloemeke said.
“There may be a little bit of demand for the ticket, but it will be well worth it. You can pick your seat and buy your ticket in advance,” he said.
The Rushmore 7 location will be Golden Ticket Cinema’s fifth theater.
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Other locations include the GTC Twin in Lenoir, N.C., GTC Cinemas 7 in Washington, N.C., Reel Lux Kandi 6 in Willmar, Minn., and Reel Lux 6 in Scottsbluff, Neb.
“I identified Rapid City a while back as an underserved market in terms of theater amenities. It’s just too big a market not to have the amenities we’re trying to bring,” Bloemeke said.
The theater’s lobby will put the traditional popcorn machine and self-service soda front and center.
Patrons ordering menu items from the kitchen will receive a pager to meet a server at the door of the auditorium to minimize distractions during the feature showing.
“If it’s early and the feature hasn’t started yet, we may bring it right to your seat,” Bloemeke said.
The theater will keep its current Tuesday $5 movie tickets, as well as early-bird weekday matinees, senior days and the annual popcorn bucket.
The renovation, including a freshened exterior and new signage, is to be completed in time for the start of holiday movie season in November.
“I’m excited to be there and hopefully everyone will be excited to have us,” Bloemeke said.