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'Movie lounge' opens in downtown mall next month

Theatre now features electric recliners
These are the seats that have been installed at the Downtown Movie Lounge Sudbury. Supplied photo.
After being closed for the better part of three years, the movie theatre in the Rainbow Centre Mall in the city's downtown is expected to open its doors again early next month.
The Downtown Movie Lounge Sudbury is operated by Imagine Cinemas, a small, independent movie theatre chain based in southwestern Ontario. It also runs theatres in Timmins, Leamington, Tecumseh, Kitchener and Whistler. 
“We don't have an opening date as of yet,” said Gina Facca, general manager of Imagine Cinemas. “We're thinking first or second week in May.”
Imagine has put more than $1.5 million into the six-screen Sudbury theatre to create an upscale experience. 
It's installed larger screens, Dolby surround sound and large, electric recliners, replacing the typical movie theatre seats.
“People have a lot of options in terms of movie-watching nowadays,” Facca said. “We're trying to provide something that allows the patron to go out for an evening, but have the comfort of their home couch or their living room.”
The theatre will screen some first-run material, although there's rules that mean Cineplex — which owns SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas — can make it difficult for other theatres to screen these movies.
“The plan always has been to do a mix of first-run movies, art films and documentaries,” Facca said.
“In our market research in Sudbury, there's quite a demand for art movies as well as other alternative adult movies, and that's what we're looking to bring to the community.”
Ticket prices haven't yet been set, but Facca said adult admission will likely run between $10 and $13.
The theatre where Downtown Movie Lounge Sudbury is located has been vacant since August 2013, when Rainbow Cinemas closed.
A local cinema co-op expressed interest in the space, but was unable to come to an agreement with mall management, and is now working on securing funding to open at the former St. Louis de Gonzague school gym.
Imagine had considered taking over the space since Rainbow Cinemas closed, but only signed the lease last October. 
The theatre is now hiring Sudbury staff. If you're interested in applying, visit the theatre's Facebook page for more information.


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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