Dine-in service paired with the IMAX experience is coming to Inglewood, California. When it opens next spring, a new 55,000-square-foot Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas multiplex — part of the retail district of the nearly-300-acre Hollywood Park development — will offer full waiter service to patrons of its 12 screens including its IMAX theater. That would give Los Angeles the distinction of having one of the world’s only dine-in IMAX theaters.
“We’re under construction and have a permit approved,” Luis Olloqui, CEO of Cinépolis USA, tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The multiplex, due in 2023, would join already opened Hollywood Park denizens including SoFi Stadium, the YouTube Theater and office development (that houses, among other companies, the West Coast headquarters of the NFL).
“The location is great,” says Olloqui of choosing to open at Hollywood Park, where the open-air retail district will span 890,000 square feet and include restaurants, an art gallery, brewery, coffee shop and fitness center. “It’s in the middle of Inglewood and there are not really any shopping centers or theaters close by. The city is growing, and I think it deserves something of the magnitude and the quality [of offerings] that the Hollywood Park team is bringing.”
Adds Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, in a statement, “This is the first movie theater to come to Inglewood in decades.”
Mexico-based Cinépolis, the parent company of Cinépolis USA, is one of the largest cinema operators in the world; in the U.S., the business operates theaters in eight states, with nine locations in Southern California.
“We want to bring the best experience that is out there and differentiate ourselves to bring the luxury component but also at very affordable prices,” continues Olloqui, noting that ticket prices (yet to be announced) will be “in the neighborhood that we are charging in other locations in L.A. but with an enhanced experience.”
The biggest challenge so far in developing the project, according to Olloqui, is figuring out waiter service for the IMAX Theater (which will feature Laser projection.) “We’ll have around 299 seats. Can you imagine servicing 200 clients? It’s a big challenge in terms of service and having the right size of a kitchen.”
The design will be similar to that of Cinépolis’ locations in Carlsbad, California, and Coconut Grove, Florida, he says: “It’s a design that looks modern but at the same time warm, kind of like the lobby of a high-end hotel with a lot of browns and golds and wood.”
He adds that Cinépolis prides itself on, among other things, designing its theaters to have one of the largest gaps between the screen and front row (“We don’t want you straining your neck”) and that almost all of its food-service offerings are made in-house. “Everything that we can make from scratch, we make it in the theater including all of the dressings and sauces,” Olloqui says.
The theater complex (with a total of 1,236 seats, all leather recliners) will also include an outdoor bar/restaurant that’s open to non-moviegoers. (For THR‘s coverage of where else to eat in Inglewood before or after a game or concert, see here.)
“What we believe is that with all of the streaming platforms around the world,” says Olloqui, “we have to have an experience and offering for you to leave your couch and go to our theater and that needs to be a combination of the size of the screen, quality of the sound, how comfortable the chairs are and on top of that we need to include top-notch service. We’re trying to make it very different than staying in your home.”