What’s described as “the most advanced movie theater in Lancaster County” will open Friday, Nov. 8 at The Crossings at Conestoga Creek on Harrisburg Pike.
Reel Cinemas brings moviegoers seven screens, 682 seats (all of them heated luxury recliners), state-of-the-art laser projection, the newest Dolby audio systems and a dining area with a liquor license.
In a first among mainstream suburban movie theaters here, patrons can have their food and drink delivered to their seat in an auditorium (but not after the movie has started).
The food and drink come on a table that has pegs which fit into the seat’s cup holders, providing stability.
“People are going to be really thrilled by their experience,” predicted Steve Evans, senior vice president and managing director of High Real Estate Group’s retail division.
High Real Estate Group is the developer of the $120 million Crossings project, across the street from Long’s Park.
Evans sees Reel Cinemas as the anchor for The Crossings’ Main Street area, which will feature stores, restaurants and various services, while the anchor for The Crossings overall is Wegmans supermarket.
The Crossings also includes 258 upscale apartments and a 127-room Residence Inn.
Reel Cinemas owner Greg Wax said its Crossings theater is the only theater in the state to use only laser projection and the only one in the county to have the newest Dolby system, known as 7.1. The Dolby system will be used in six of its auditoriums.
The seventh is the biggest auditorium, dubbed ReelMax, and its key features indeed are the theater’s max.
It has the theater’s biggest screen (43 feet by 18 feet), the most seats (143) and Dolby Atmos sound, a 70-speaker array that lets the audio source move in sync with the movement on screen. No other theater in the county has Dolby Atmos, according to Reel Cinemas.
Although its technology will be the most advanced in the county, Wax said, its ticket prices won’t be. Reel Cinemas’ ticket prices will be about a dollar less than its main competition, he said.
Reel Cinemas’ adult ticket prices are $12.50 for films shown in six of the auditoriums, $14.50 for ReelMax.
Reel Cinemas gives moviegoers a multiplex theater to the west of Lancaster city, though its central location and proximity to major roads makes it easily accessible from any direction.
North of Lancaster city is Penn Cinema on Airport Road, with 14 screens and an IMAX theater. South of the city is Regal Manor on Millersville Pike with 16 screens. Farther south is Kendig Square Movies 6 on Willow Street Pike.
On Friday, following grand opening festivities on a red carpet and under spotlights, Reel Cinemas will begin showing movies to the public at 7:30 p.m. All will be first run.
The initial movie to be shown will be “Doctor Sleep,” a supernatural horror movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
Reel Cinemas and High unveiled their plan for a theater at The Crossings in November 2018. At that time, the theater envisioned having a brewpub. It later switched its strategy, opting for a restaurant liquor license that allows it to offer a broader variety of alcoholic beverages.
However, it now intends to form a joint venture with an area brewery, yet to be selected, to brew beer on the second floor of the 24,000-square-foot theater.
The menu is a major priority for Reel Cinemas. The “casual chic” menu includes appetizers (i.e., nachos, potato skins, battered fries, bagels), pizza (baked on the premises), salads, burgers, cheesesteaks, sandwiches, desserts and other items.
If customers don’t want to eat or drink while watching the movie, customers can enjoy their food and drink in the lobby, at a 10-seat bar or at one of 10 tables.
(Enjoying food and drink as you watch a movie in a Lancaster County theater won’t be unique to Reel Cinemas. Zoetropolis in downtown Lancaster offers that too.)
Reel Cinemais hiring as it develops a staff of 35 people, said General Manager Russell Allison, more than its initial hiring plan of about 25.
Evans and Wax declined to specify the cost of the multi-million-dollar theater.
Reel Cinemas is a small family business based in Narberth, Montgomery County. In addition to its theater at The Crossings and one in Narberth, Reel Cinemas has one in Wayne, Delaware County.