After a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place in Dedham, Massachusetts reintroduced itself to the local community with a pair of unique events.
An open-house event held on Saturday, December 14 gave patrons the opportunity to watch any movie for only $5 per ticket. The event brought in over 4,000 people, a dress rehearsal ahead of the blockbuster release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. To prepare audiences for the launch of one of the biggest films of the year, Showcase hosted a 24-hour nine-movie marathon leading up to the debut of The Rise of Skywalker at the newly renovated theater. The movie marathon participants found a refreshment area adjacent to the auditorium, where they could freshen up with complimentary deodorizing body wipes, toothpaste, and assorted toiletries—not to mention free popcorn.
Originally opened in 2009, the 15-auditorium theater underwent a complete renovation that includes premium recliner seating by Palliser, Barco Series 4 laser projection, and an impressive new lobby with modern design and lighting elements. The location originally featured a closed-off restaurant in its lobby, which was completely redesigned to give it an open-concept look intended to draw patrons in rather than section off diners inside. The result is comparable to a hotel lobby, featuring communal seating areas that encourage conversation before or after a movie.
“It was exciting to be part of the team challenged to evolve our flagship theater, Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place,” says Rebecca Stein, VP of studio relations and U.S. marketing at Showcase. “It was our goal to make this theater’s experience, amenities and design emblematic as to who we are as a company. Therefore, the renovations represent our focus on the best cinema technology, ultra-comfort in the auditoriums and lobby, mixed with high-end design featuring rich jewel tone colors. This was especially important as the theater is only minutes away from our headquarters and plays host to important community events, high profile premieres as well as area trade screenings.”
The theater was operational throughout a multi-million-dollar renovation that began in late August 2019. Weeks after beginning the project, Showcase raised eyebrows across the exhibition industry with the release of a self-funded biometric study showing the emotional and neuro-psychological effects of watching a movie at a theater instead of at home. The study, conducted by HCD Research, took two groups of 40 participants (ages 18-44), one in a movie theater and another in a home-viewing setting, and applied biometric sensors on participants’ hands, wrists, and collarbones during a showing of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The study’s results revealed higher engagement levels by participants in a cinema setting.
“The technology and creature comforts built around the moviegoing experience at the new Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place exemplify the characteristics within the study that helped to prove that the experience of viewing a movie in a theater was much more elevated and better than other forms of movie-viewing,” explained Mark Malinowski, vice president of global marketing for Showcase Cinemas.
Showcase placed an important emphasis on the theater’s food and beverage offerings as part of its renovation. The concession stand features a station for freshly made pretzels, Nathan’s hot dogs, Famiglia pizzas, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and a wide array of Starbucks coffee items. It is one of the first movie theaters to offer both frappuccinos and cold brews in its concession stand. Coca-Cola Freestyle machines are positioned in the hallways leading to the auditoriums, taking full advantage of the theater’s foot traffic. Dynamic digital signage around the concession stand helps boost the latest F&B promotions, and can be applied as a branded takeover for a specific item or film.
Next to the concessions, a full-service café bar serving small bites and appetizers is ideally stationed for patrons on their coming in or out of an auditorium. Alcohol service includes craft cocktails on tap, beer and wine, and premium liquor options. A second bar, located on the theater’s second-story “Lux” level, cuts down the walking time for patrons looking for a refill during a movie.
“The theater’s food and beverage offerings are designed to provide something for everyone,” says Patrick Micalizzi, VP of food and beverage at Showcase. “Our re-conceived lobby café concept now includes a wide-array of Starbucks beverages, a gourmet menu and an assortment of craft cocktails on tap. Additionally, our updated concession stands offer freshly popped popcorn, new digital menu/display boards and a fleet of Coca-Cola Freestyle machines with more than 200 flavor combinations. Under the direction of our executive chef, our redesigned Lux Level bar and lounge includes a carefully curated menu of cocktails, appetizers, entrees and desserts that take in-theater dining to an entirely new level.”
The theater’s most impressive space is its exhibitor-branded premium large format (PLF) XPlus auditorium. The two-level screening room features heated recliner seating by Palliser and a two-and-a-half-story-high wall-to-wall screen. It boasts one of only four Cinionic Giant Screen (CGS) dual-laser projectors in the United States (the only one on the east coast), and delivers state-of-the-art image quality to complement its Dolby Atmos immersive audio system. There is a full-service dine-in menu with a call button at each seat, delivering a truly premium moviegoing experience in style.
“It’s technologically advanced, incredibly comfortable and larger than life, so it’s fitting that Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place is re-launching with the ‘Star Wars’ Marathon and the opening of the latest franchise film—a cultural event that embodies the same qualities as our theater,” said Malinowski. “With the XPlus premium large format, laser projection, power recliners, Lux Level and a new Café concept, this theater is everything a modern moviegoer could want!”