AMC La Jolla upgrades seating, concessions for New Year


By Ashley Mackin

La Jolla’s AMC Theater is getting an upgrade, with renovations already in the works. Hoping to make the theater more “upscale,” manager Jesse Dancy-Weathers said some of the improvements include replacing all seats with leather recliners, a new concession area and installing new digital projectors.

“We’re excited about these changes and we think guests in the San Diego area are going to love the new movie-going experience,” said Ryan Noonan, AMC’s director of public relations.

Dancy-Weathers said the La Jolla AMC, located within the La Jolla Village Square at 8657 Villa La Jolla, Suite 129, is one of the oldest theaters in San Diego, and the renovations have been planned for a while. “(Now) just seemed the right time to do it. Especially with the movie industry moving in this direction,” he said, referencing movie theaters becoming more luxurious.

One of the luxuries to the 12-screen theater will be a Coke Freestyle machine in the lobby, which allows patrons to customize their Coca-Cola beverages with flavors and sugar levels. The lobby will also be given a more upscale look.

Additionally, the seats will be replaced with leather recliners one screening room at a time, so there will be little disruption in screenings, Dancy-Weathers said. Prior to and during the first round of renovations, the same leather chairs being installed inside were placed outside the theater to give patrons a preview of what to expect when the renovations are complete.

The renovations are happening to AMC theaters nation-wide and the La Jolla renovations began Jan. 1. The entire renovation should be complete in the next few months.

This comes on the heels of the November 2012 opening of the ArcLight Cinema; a luxury theater located less than two miles from the AMC, which also has amenities such as leather seats and an upscale lobby. However, Dancy-Weathers said the AMC renovations are unrelated and that the ArcLight has had little impact on AMC Theater’s attendance.

He explained the two theaters don’t share film titles, so the movies showing at one theater would not show at the other. “We’ve still been able to keep high numbers,” he said.

The other nearby cineplex, the Landmark Theater, shares only a few titles (two titles the week of Jan. 7) with the AMC and the ArcLight Cinema, and screens less common, more independent films. Landmark did not return calls by deadline as to whether the upgraded theaters have impacted their numbers or whether they plan to alter the facility.

Unlike some other luxury theaters, AMC does not currently serve alcohol, though Dancy-Weathers said that might be a possibility in the future. Also unique to AMC is the AMC Stubs club, a membership club that offer patrons free upgrades at concessions, waived online ticket fees and a $10 reward for every $100 spent. The Stubs club is $12 a year.

For movie listings, times, tickets and to see trailers, visit amc-la-jolla-12