James Meredith standing in front of a curved, wall-to-wall movie screen in the new Cinemark Reserve.

Bellevue’s Cinemark Reserve Lincoln Square creates a new way to watch movies

The Cinemark Reserve in Lincoln Square, which opened its doors Aug. 3, was specifically designed to offer moviegoers a new way to watch films with state-of-the-art technology.

Cinemark’s Vice President of Marketing, James Meredith, said the theater “creates an experience that simply can’t be replicated at home.”

It all begins in the kiosk just outside the theater. With a touchscreen display, guests can select the movie, the time and their seats. “It’s so great because you will always know exactly where you’re going to sit,” Meredith said.

Once entering, there is a large concession stand with popcorn, candy, drinks and customized butter stations.

“We’ve got everything any moviegoer would want. We’ve done a lot of research and have asked people what would enhance their movie going experience, and one of the biggest things was butter. People are very particular on how their popcorn is buttered. Some people like a lot of butter, some like just a little but, some just want want it on half. So, we have butter stations to better accommodate people’s butter preferences,” he said.

The theater includes a full kitchen that creates gourmet appetizers, flatbread pizzas, rosemary fries, salads, sandwiches, sliders, plus gourmet desserts, as well as a full bar that hosts local craft beers, wine and cocktails. Adjoining the kitchen and bar is a large lounge and terrace where guests can enjoy food, drinks and friends.

Each of the six auditoriums house over 100 luxury ergonomic loungers that have three different heat settings. The loungers come with a swivel table to accommodate the seat-side service from the full kitchen.

All the auditoriums have a curved, wall-to-wall screen designed to make every seat the best seat to see the crisp, clear digital picture. The enhanced surround sound system, along with the picture, offer guests an immersive moviegoing experience.

Along with showing major blockbuster films, independent art movies and alternative content will also be shown, such as Met Opera events, musicals, plays, sporting events and concerts.

“The theater really becomes much more of an entertainment destination that always has something different playing here every single week,” he said.

The goal of Cinemark is to allow guests to relax and escape from reality.

“The food, the drink, the waiters, the technology, the auditoriums, the sound, the projection — all of that combined, creates this really cool environment where you can come in and relax and escape for just a couple hours. And I think that’s what people really love,” he said. “There’s nothing like watching a movie like ‘Dunkirk’ with other people because that truly is a social engagement because people will gasp at certain times, people will laugh at certain times, they’ll cry at certain times.”

Meredith described the impact a film and an environment can have on people.

“I’ll never forget when I was a kid and my dad took me to see ‘Rocky,’ there was a guy down in the front row and during that fight with Apollo Creed, he jumped up yelled ‘Give ‘em hell, Rock!’ and everyone in the auditorium just laughed because he was just so engrossed in the movie that he had forgotten the fact he was in reality,” he said. “It was so cool. You don’t get that at home. That’s what theaters are all about. It’s that social engagement, that social experience. I think that’s the impression a good movie makes on you that you remember who you were with, and you remember what you were wearing, and all those different things in your life at that time.”