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April 17, 2012 > Silver screens light up Fremont

Silver screens light up Fremont

By William Marshak

Trips to other cities to enjoy a first class movie in a first class movie theater will soon be an option for Fremont residents rather than a requirement. Beginning Friday, April 20, Cinemark will open its state-of-the-art, 16-screen, theatre as one of the premiere destinations of "The Block" at Pacific Commons. Cinemark USA, Inc. has pulled out all the stops in design and preparation of the "Century at Pacific Commons."

Marketing Director Bryan Jeffries noted that although his organization has theaters in Union City and Milpitas, Fremont is a prime location as well. Described as "a great community," Jeffries noted that at the Fremont Century Theater, unlike other theaters in which newer innovations are added piecemeal to an existing facility, innovations have been incorporated into initial construction. Called "Next-Gen design," the theater is expected to be a prototype for how theaters are built in the future. A showpiece of this newer technology is an XD (Extreme Digital) auditorium featuring a fourth wall - wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen - with plush, adjustable seating with expanded leg room, digital projection, JPL surround sound for both 2-D and 3-D images.

Remaining screening rooms, although smaller in size will feature the same concept of a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall screen and similar approaches to additional amenities to provide an exquisite, "larger than life" visual and sound experience. Digital projectors with the highest quality bright bulbs allow flexibility for the theaters to host a variety of entertainment - film, live performance simulcasts, sports and much more. Sound is set to the optimum volume level for each film shown. The result is that viewers are seeing films "closer to what the directors wanted the film to look like." Jeffries adds that theaters with the best bulbs and lighting systems receive the best prints of movies because "studios know their presentation will be worth it." He says, "A consumer who experiences the difference between this system and other, lesser projections may not know how to describe it, but they will know it is better than what they have seen before."

As a Century Theater, a self-serve concession stand has been "expanded" to include a variety of options including a cafe-style eating area, featuring burgers and fries separate from the auditoriums. Called a "hot spot," choice is a major theme of this theater. Fans of creating their own soft drink combinations will have free rein at the soda fountain to mix and match. Jeffries says that Century at Pacific Commons is designed as a destination for a variety of activities including a "party room" for birthday parties. Groups or companies that would like to rent a theater for their own event can do so, either screening a current film or, with assistance from Cinemark, a different film or presentation.

Although innovation is a central theme of this new theatre, Century at Pacific Commons has not forgotten its roots. Along with new releases, a Classic Film series is scheduled beginning with "The Godfather, Part II" on Thursday, April 26 and Oscar-winning "Wings" on Thursday, May 3 (2 p.m. & 7 p.m.). The experience of seeing these films in large screen format with digital projection promises to be unique.

In addition to requirements for disabled people (wheelchair access, etc.), each auditorium of the theater features the "CaptiView" system that allow deaf and those challenged by hearing impairments to view individual closed captioning at their seat. All auditoriums are equipped with these devices.

Advance purchase will be available in the lobby or at Tickets will be waiting through use of a kiosk without waiting on line at the box office. Reserved seating is also a future consideration. Real time ticketing allows sales to instantly match auditorium capacity to purchases avoiding overselling.

Jeffries emphasizes that all auditoriums have superior projection, sound and seating. "It's not as if we threw all our best equipment in one, large auditorium and abandoned the other screening rooms." He continues, "We are proud of our facility and want to be a leader. We have challenged the rest of the industry to be like this." According to Jeffries, much of the planning and effort for this theater was focused on quality with the result that those who visit any of the theater rooms - DX or not - will come away with the thought, "Wow. That was something!"

Century at Pacific Commons
43917 Pacific Commons Blvd., Fremont
(800) 326-3264

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