SANTA FE — Santa Fe Place Mall will have a movie theater again.
Mall officials say a six-theater “premium” multiplex operated by Regal Entertainment Group could open as early as Dec. 14. If approved by the city, beer and wine options along with a hot food menu would be added in January.
Rob Morlino, marketing manager for Spinoso Real Estate Group, which has been the mall’s owner and property manager since 2013, said an official grand opening could be scheduled for next month.
“We’re really excited to have a theater again,” he said. “It’s really cool to see that coming back to our property. It’s really premium. It’s really different than what people have seen before.”
Two Regal-owned multi-screens previously operated in the south Santa Fe mall. Both were shuttered about seven years ago.
Aside from the expanded refreshments options, the new theater spaces will have large, “La-Z-Boy”-style lounge chairs with electronic reclining capabilities, according to Morlino.
Jim Schertzing, director of operations, said the seating is arranged to be not as “wide” as an average movie theater, meaning space on the sides are left empty for optimal screen viewing.
Morlino said the six theater rooms range in size, with the largest seating about 100 people.
“It’s going against that trend of trying to cram as many people in as people and trying to maximize people’s comfort and entertainment value capacity,” he said.’
The amenities described for this theater are similar to those at the Violet Crown Cinema in the downtown Railyard, which opened in 2015 as a Regal competitor. Morlino said he could not speak for Regal on whether the new mall mulitplex is meant to be competitive with Violet Crown, but he did say the modern design aligns with the trend of theatergoers looking for a more “pampered experience.”
A representative from the theater chain could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Morlino and Schwertzing said it seems like Regal is looking to add capacity in the city’s growing south side. The chain also operates the Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14 on Zafarano Drive, less than a mile from the mall.