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New multiplex returns movies to Monroeville

| Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The new Cinemark Theater in Monroeville Mall on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
The concession stand in the new Cinemark Theater in Monroeville Mall on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
A projector for one of the theaters in the new Cinemark Theater in Monroeville Mall on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review
One of the theaters in the new Cinemark Theater in Monroeville Mall on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

For the first time in 15 years, Monroeville-area residents can catch a flick in their hometown.

Cinemark Monroeville Mall, a 12-screen theater, will open Nov. 7. It's the first theater for the local business district since a four-screen complex at the mall closed in 1998.

The theater, which employs about 80 people, will be the third anchor at the mall. The others are Macy's and JC Penney.

Mall shoppers can enter the theater from the sprawling lobby on the second floor. The box office is off the right with a full concession stand — complete with self-serve butter station — nearby. A deep red, purple and orange carpet leads the way back to the auditoriums where plush seats are arranged stadium- style.

“The movie business hasn't changed a whole lot in the last 80-plus years,” says Bryan Jeffries, Cinemark marketing director. “It's all the little things that make it better, like comfy seats and more leg room.”

The theater features the Cinemark Next Gen design, offering the latest technology, wall-to-wall screens, digital projection and enhanced sound systems.

Locally, Cinemark has theaters in Robinson, Monaca and Pittsburgh Mills, Frazer. A fifth is planned for McCandless in 2014.

The theater features one Cinemark XD auditorium, with a custom JBL sound system and digital images provided by a state-of-the-art Doremi server and a Barco digital projector. It will show the newest 2-D and 3-D movies.

This theater creates a particularly immersive experience. During a 3-D trailer for “The Hobbit,” out Dec. 13, characters running through the woods seem to leap onto the screen from behind the viewer as the noise of the battle sounds from every angle. “Thor: The Dark World” will be the first film to show in this auditorium.

Many area residents are eagerly anticipating the theater opening. May Oliphant, 27, a mother of two from Churchill, says her family frequents the movies and usually has to travel to the Waterfront. They're looking forward to seeing “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” when it opens Nov. 22.

“It will be really nice to have it close,” she says of the new theater.

Jill Lichtenfels, 30, of Monroeville and a mother of two who visits the Waterfront to see movies, agrees.

“There's always a lot of traffic (at the Waterfront), especially if you go on the weekends,” she says.

To stay ahead of movie-industry technology, the Monroeville theater installed satellite dishes on the roof in anticipation of changes to the way films are delivered.

“That was done only with the assurance the industry is headed that way,” Jeffries says. “The day will come, and we'll be ready.”

Details: 412-373-1794 or www.cinemark.com

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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