The curtain is about to rise on Napa’s newest entertainment venue, the 12-screen Century Napa Valley Cineplex.
The first screening for the public will be the new James Bond film “Skyfall,” debuting at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, said theater executives.
During a tour Wednesday afternoon, the smell of fresh paint was in the air as workers put the finishing touches on construction. Colorful murals were being installed over a concession area. Hallways were being painted and carpets vacuumed. During a safety test, a fire alarm blared and safety lights flashed brightly inside one theater.
“We’re excited” for opening weekend, said James Meredith, Cinemark vice president of marketing and communications. Cinemark is the parent company of Century Theatres.
The company is eager to show off the new entertainment venue to Napans. “I know they are going to love it,” right down to the popcorn and ambiance in the lobby, said theater general manager David Wood.
The theater displays an array of technology including wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor screens, digital projection, custom sound system, 3-D capability, online ticketing and more than 2,000 stadium-style seats upholstered in a cushy leather-like fabric. The largest theater features 300 seats, the smallest 89, Meredith said.
Unlike the projection rooms of yesterday, today’s movies arrive on hard drives stored inside plastic shipping cases, explained Meredith. Instead of reels of film threaded through projectors, the hard drives are simply installed into computer towers where they are programmed to show the movies, he said.
Cinemark will close the Cinedome 8 in downtown Napa on Thursday night. A total of about 60 employees work at the new theater said Wood. All 18 employees from the Cinedome 8 are on staff, he said.
Guests will have their pick from a wine bar, mini lounge, Starbucks café and self-serve concession area at the new theater. A “buttering station” allows customers to dispense the exact amount of butter and salt they desire.
“Everybody likes their popcorn a certain way,” Meredith noted. “It goes back to personalizing the experience.”
A small party room allows for children’s birthday events or other gatherings.
Located behind the south Napa Target, the theater has already been host to a variety of preopening events this week. It will also act as a venue for the Napa Valley Film Festival on Thursday.
In addition to the new complex, the left-turn lane onto Gasser Drive from Imola Avenue has been reconfigured into two turning lanes with a new stop light regulating traffic at the intersection of Hartle Court and Gasser Drive.
Moviegoers can enter the complex by going south on Gasser Drive or entering across from the animal shelter on Hartle Court. Neon signs for the new theater have been installed at one corner of the building, but additional signs are expected to be placed near the top of the front of the theater, Meredith said.
Because of a special event on Thursday night, “Skyfall” won’t be shown at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, as previously announced, said Meredith, but future new movie releases will debut at midnight on release day, he said.
Other films showing on opening weekend include “Flight,” “Wreck it Ralph,” “Cloud Atlas,” “Alex Cross,” “Argo,” “Taken 2,” “End of Watch,” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”