Cinemark Mall St MatthewsCinemark Mall St. Matthews is the latest movie theatre complex to open in Kentucky.
After a star turn as Katniss in the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games, followed by an Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence joined the ranks of Hollywood royalty—including George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Irene Dunne, Victor Mature, Patricia Neal and Ashley Judd—that hail from Kentucky. Tonight, a spanking, new movie theatre in Lawrence’s hometown of Louisville will hold its invitation-only preview opening. The 10-screen, all-digital Cinemark Mall St. Matthews will screen the aforementioned Lawrence movies (as well as 8 others) at the VIP event and I’m told the star’s family will be in attendance.
The 2,000-plus seat theatre complex opens to the general public tomorrow. For its opening weekend, the Cinemark team is rolling out the red carpet in the form of giveaways to the first 100 customers on both Friday and Saturday. This is the 8th Cinemark complex in the state and, with the acquisition of three Rave Cinemas currently underway, that number rises to 11, making Cinemark the largest movie chain in Kentucky. (It’s also the largest motion picture exhibitor in the world, with more than 5,000 screens across the U.S. and Latin America.)
This afternoon, with marketing director Bryan Jeffries as my tour guide, I was fortunate to get an early peek at what the company calls its “NextGen cinema design concept.” From the convenience of being able to bypass the box office in favor of purchasing tickets online and then simply checking in at one of the three lobby kiosks, to the decadence of stations where you can—are you ready for this?—butter your own popcorn, this cinema is pretty darn posh. But the theatre auditorium is where the ol’ rubber meets the road.
“Holy crap!” I say upon seeing the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling movie screen in the 300-seat auditorium. Yes, all movie screens are big, but this sucker seems Godzilla big. What’s more, the screen in the 130-seat auditorium is nearly as impressive. As you’d expect, the chairs are cushy, comfy and the digital surround sound is shimmy-your-seat awesome. I previewed two 2D (that’s movie speak for “regular”) trailers: The Hangover Part III (I want to think I’m above finding the Hangover movies amusing, but I’m not.) and Fast & Furious 6; and two 3D trailers: The Great Gatsby and Man of Steel, the new Superman flick. Wow. I don’t care if I can watch movies on my TV, my phone and my iPad. It is 100-million percent not the same as the thrill of watching a film in the theatre.
Oh, and for a limited time only at the Cinemark Mall St. Matthews, you’ll get the bonus “new car smell” in the auditoriums. (Does anyone not love that “new” scent?)
For a complete listing of Cinemark Mall St. Matthews grand opening events, advance ticket purchases and showtime information, visit Cinemark.com.