With heated, reclining seats, a full bar and lounge and spacious auditoriums, the newest modern movie theater of the area stretches the margins of the common public movie experience.
Located in the San Antonio shopping center in Mountain View, the newly opened ShowPlace iCon theater showcases its high-tech and efficient manner of delivering entertainment and amenities to its guests. Along with comfortable seats and lounges, the theater features digital screens at the entrance of the theater on which guests are invited to order their own food and drinks with the touch of a button.
“You order your food when you pick up your tickets on a screen and then you just pick up your food at the next station which is super quick and convenient,” senior Maddie Yen said.
Opening on Oct. 5, 2018, the iCon Theater has gathered popularity predominantly among teenagers who enjoy the ease the theater provides, according to employee Arthur Mane.
“For the first few weeks, it wasn’t too busy because not a lot of people knew we were here,” Mane said. “Now it is safe to say we get a lot of customers, especially teenagers on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights.”
The iCon theater is one of two located in the Bay Area, the other located at Valley Fair which opened in January 2019. It is part of a small chain of theaters that originated on the East Coast.
“What we have here is a more modernized version of going to the movies,” Mane said. “We offer lots of food options and take pride in the high comfort level of our reclining and heated chairs.”
In order to keep up with the escalating prominence of technology in society, the theater offers many amenities that can be easily accessed on a screen, according to Mane.
“It’s super easy to buy tickets and order food because it’s all digital,” senior Dwayne Trahan said.
The theater entrance itself includes many modern features, such as neon colored wall panels and crossing escalators. The rectangular glass doors at the entrance lead into a large lobby area with high ceilings and stairs alongside the escalators.
“What we have here is a more modernized version of going to the movies.”
Inside the multiplex are 10 separate auditoriums, each containing over 20 rows of reclining and heated seats for visitors to reach their maximum comfort level.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the seat warmers because I always get cold at the movies,” Yen said.
If seat comfort wasn’t enough to draw in viewers, the new theater also dedicates part of their theater to the VIP section in which employees directly deliver food to the seats of their customers while watching their film.
“There are lots of food choices, and it’s definitely less expensive than most (existing movie theaters) that I have been to,” Trahan said.
According to chemistry teacher Ashwini Avadhani, bringing blankets and stretching out on the comfortable seats makes the new modern theaters feel as relaxing as watching at home.
Since movie theater attendance has recently taken a dive due to the rising popularity of online streaming and other forms of media, the iCon theater attempts to simulate the luxury of watching movies in the comfort of one’s own home.
“It is comfortable enough and instead of watching a movie at home, going to the movies and looking at the huge new screens (is) really great. I know some people have basement home theaters, but they still can’t compete with the Century 21 movie screens.”
To parallel the ease and comfort of viewing films at home, iCon has installed easily accessible snacks and even full meal items available at the touch of a button.
“Now that they’re adding food and beverages, it makes the experience so much more relaxing,” Avadhani said.
According to Mane, more modernized movie theaters will begin to take over the more traditional theaters because they are much more comparable with the latest forms of entertainment that most people enjoy in their own homes today.