Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:05

Given eyes more improvements at cinema Featured

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Blaine and Janelle test out the new seats in theater 2. Blaine and Janelle test out the new seats in theater 2. rrspin.com

Blaine and Janelle Given are excited about the future of Roanoke Cinemas.

Monday marked the fourth anniversary of their ownership of the movie theater off Tenth Street.

Part of that anniversary celebration includes new seats being installed in theater 2.

The new seats being installed in the cinema’s second theater today replace ones Blaine estimates are at least 50 years old. “They saw a lot of movies,” he said as workers bolted them to the floor.

It is a huge step in the refurbishing of the theater. “We wanted to do this four years ago,” he said, but had to put the plans on hold because of the digital upgrade and repairing a collapsed sewer line. “This was something we wanted to do a long time ago.”

In adding the new seats, the flooring of theater 2 was redone, new carpeting will be installed and the house lights will be LED, Blaine said. The walls will be redone and accent and floor lights will be added.

The new configuration of the 115 new seats puts them in the center of the theater to give moviegoers a better viewing experience, Blaine said. “We wanted to do this because of the support we have got from the community. They believed in us and we wanted to do that for them because we believe in them.”

The improvements over the past four years have helped the theater pick up customers who weren’t coming to Roanoke Rapids for movies, Blaine said.

With the seating project, he said, “We hope we will pick up more and can give them the best movie-going experience in a 100-mile radius.”

The new seats are the latest standard for movie theaters, Blaine said.

The placement of the seats will make entry and exit easier, Janelle said. They are wider and have higher backs so patrons can rest their heads.

Janelle said the seats will be ready for the Thursday showing of Justice League, which will play in both cinemas.

Blaine has tested the new seats with his father as well as his employees. The reaction has been favorable as the seats have better cushioning than the old ones and have pivoting armrests.

The pivoting armrests, Blaine said, “Will allow for better comfort and potential cuddling for couples.”

The new seating will not compromise space for wheelchair-bound viewers, Janelle said.

As the couple embarks on their next four years of ownership, Blaine said he is seeking financing to pay for reconfiguring theater 1 to create what would be a third screen. “Having a third screen will give us the advantage to show more variety.”

He is also hoping to expand the lobby and bring the ticket booth inside, with plans to add another.

While Blaine continues to run his own insurance agency, the theater business gives him a lighthearted venture. “It’s fun for me to be able to entertain people and provide a place for families to come and make memories which increases their bond. We want to help families be closer.”

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