ArcLight Cinemas, a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Pacific Theatres, Friday will open its fourth location, ArcLight Beach Cities, in El Segundo, where patrons will be able to take a beer into one of the auditoriums.
The new cinema is the latest sign of how theater circuits are serving up "premium" experiences, for a ticket price ranging from $11.75 to $13.75 based on showtime, to lure patrons away from their big-screen TVs. Pacific invested $6 million to convert the former Pacific Beach Cities 16 Theaters into an ArcLight, which is known for its all-reserved seating and commercial-free movies.
Christopher Forman, chief executive of Pacific Theatres and ArcLight Cinemas, calls it a "natural extension of the ArcLight brand in the Greater Los Angeles area.'' ArcLight, which Pacific launched eight years ago, also has locations in Hollywood, Sherman Oaks and Pasadena.
Along with new digital projectors and sound systems, the newly renovated theater in the Manhattan Gateway Shopping Center includes a full bar and cafe, a gift shop, film exhibits and the characteristic extra-wide stadium seating, along with ArcLight's signature caramel corn, popcorn with real butter and chicken sausage baguettes.
And, like other ArcLights, one of the 16 auditoriums -- reserved for those 21 years and older -- will allow patrons to bring in beer, wine and cocktails from the bar during special screenings that run Thursday through Sunday.
The theater will also cater to customers in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach by offering a mix of independent films, cult favorites, classics as well as Hollywood blockbusters.
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: Sign from the new ArcLight Beach Cities theater in El Segundo. Credit: ArcLight Cinemas