Makeover at the movies: Transformation complete inside Cape theater

Friday, December 8, 2017
DreamLounger heated seats are offered Thursday in the Super Screen theater one at Cape West Cinema in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

Cape Girardeau’s movie-going experience got a serious upgrade this fall.

Construction to upgrade seating in all 14 auditoriums at Cape West Cinema is complete, and a new restaurant and lounge were added to the lobby.

A new exterior door will be added to the front of the building, and that construction should be complete soon, theater general manager Kevin Dillon said.

Marcus Theatres, headquartered in Milwaukee, acquired Wehrenberg in late 2016. This summer, the Cape West Cinema underwent a face-lift: new seats, new signs, new flooring and a new restaurant and lounge.

But that bare list doesn’t touch the new experience.

A 25-foot screen at Take Five Lounge is seen Thursday at Cape West Cinema in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

Gone are the outdoor ticket booths, bathrooms with primary-color laminate surfaces, the neon signs in the lobby, the arcade games.

Now, a sleek, muted color scheme in beige, gray and black dominates throughout, and the Take Five Lounge fills the area where moviegoers used to take in a game of air hockey.

“It’s a new concept for this area,” Dillon said. “Before or after a show, people can come in, enjoy a drink, talk about the movie or just relax.”

There will be a one-drink limit per person, Dillon said, and everyone will be carded.

But drinks can be taken into the theaters, Dillon said.

A pepperoni, onion and mushroom pizza freshly made Thursday at the Zaffiro's Express at Cape West Cinema in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

There will be drink specials throughout the year to correspond to new movies, he said.

Right now, a Wonder Woman cocktail is available.

In anticipation of the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” film set to open Dec. 14, several specials are planned.

The Jedi Long Island will be a special beverage available, said Julie Caan, spokeswoman for Marcus Theatres, and food options will be available, but they’re still being finalized, she said.

New restaurant Zaffiro’s Express allows moviegoers to order food for quick pick-up in the lobby, Caan said.

Their menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts, all freshly made to order, Dillon said.

The concession stands have grab-and-go candy now, Dillon said, and fountain sodas are self-serve.

The new theater seating is another upgrade.

The DreamLounger recliners, as they’re called, fully recline and are padded and upholstered in leather, according to Caan.

Double the legroom between rows is a major advantage over the old row seating, Caan said.

“We did lose some capacity,” Dillon said, noting the medium-sized auditoriums now have about 60 seats. But tickets are available online in advance, so people can reserve the seat they want before the show.

A lot of showtimes will sell out, Dillon said, especially Tuesdays, when tickets are specially priced at $5 each, but this option gives people the opportunity to choose.

“As long as you bought the seat ahead of time, you know it’s yours,” Dillon said.

One auditorium has the SuperScreen DLX, a bigger screen for movie viewing. It also has more of the DreamLounger seats, Dillon said, which are heated in that auditorium.

Marcus Theatres president, chairman and CEO Rolando Rodriguez expressed excitement at the completed renovations in Cape Girardeau.

“We are thrilled for the community to take in the amazing transformation of the Cape West Cinema,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “The newly renovated theatre offers a complete dining and entertainment experience, just in time for the holiday blockbuster season. Guests can now relax in comfortable DreamLounger recliners, feel like part of the action in the SuperScreen DLX auditorium and enjoy a variety of delicious new menu options at the Zaffiro’s Express or Take Five Lounge.”

Added Dillon, “We’re excited. It’s a big improvement.”

(573) 388-3630

Pertinent address:

247 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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