Movie-lovers who like their creature comforts will feel right at home at the new Reading Cinema at Charlestown Square.
The eight-screen complex, which opens tomorrow, sets a new standard for cinema luxury in the Hunter Region.
And to cater to the expanding backsides of movie-goers it has wide seats to match its wide screens.
Reading’s first all-digital multiplex has three different types of seating for its three different big-screen experiences.
Tomorrow’s first screenings – of such films as the new Katherine Heigl romantic comedy Life As We Know It, frightfest Paranormal Activity 2 and Ben Affleck’s crime thriller The Town – will be in the multiplex’s five regular cinemas.
Guests invited to tomorrow night’s official opening – followed by a screening of The Social Network – will be the first to sample the two Gold Lounge cinemas and jumbo-sized Titan XC screen, which open on Friday.
The Newcastle Herald was recently invited to test-drive the multiplex’s seating as workers put the finishing touches to the silver screens and candy bar.
The two $35-a-ticket Gold Lounge cinemas, which are licensed to serve alcohol, each have 40 individual recliners.
The seats are arranged into 20 pairs, with a share table and ice bucket holder (for your bottle of wine) in between.
Two switches in the armrest of the leather-feel seat activate the recliner and extend its footrest – both adjustable to individual preference.
The seats are wide, firm and comfortable, and while the adjustment mechanism is not loud it would only be polite to fellow movie-goers to sort out your ideal seat position before the film begins.
Gold Lounge ticket-holders also have access to a lounge bar offering beer, wine and cocktails, plus the option of “in-cinema dining”.
The menu includes wine by the glass or bottle, such as Brokenwood’s Hunter Valley Cricket Pitch red blend for $40, $13.50 Black Russian or Cosmopolitan cocktails, a cheese platter for $18.50 or coconut-crumbed prawns for $12.50.
The largest auditorium, the 3D-capable Titan XC (for “extreme cinema”), has what Reading boasts is the Hunter’s biggest cinema screen at 22metres wide by 12metres high.
Like the screen, the Titan XC seats are big too. Suited to the expanding backsides of movie-goers who overindulge in popcorn, cola and choc-tops, these seats are extra-wide and have plenty of leg room.
The seats in the multiplex’s five standard cinemas are also generous.
A neat feature in these auditoriums is the angling of the base of the front-row seats so you’re not quite as susceptible to that crick in the neck if you prefer to get close to the action – or arrive after all the best seats have been taken.
It’s worth noting that Reading will have allocated seating only in its Gold Lounge cinemas.