Luxury Theater Opens at Country Club Plaza

Sacramento, CA  |  Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar
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Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill prepares to cut the ribbon.

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Ribbon Cutting with Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill.

ARDEN ARCADE, CA (MPG) - Joining a host of other recently relocated or newly established businesses in Country Club Plaza is Country Club Luxury Cinema, located directly across from new mall tenant, Rebounderz. A large group of business owners and interested parties assembled Wednesday evening for the venue’s ribbon cutting and tours of the theater which opened Friday. A soft opening was held Thursday evening with a few of the thirteen screens showing Avengers: Endgame.

Invited guests praised the food, which is freshly cooked in the full kitchen behind the snack counter. Offerings include artisan pizza, nachos, fries, and popcorn chicken balls. More traditional movie fare, popcorn and candy, is also available. Margo Powers, Cinema West’s food and beverage manager, expects the menu offerings to grow.

“People can just come in and have a beer,” she said, without buying a ticket or seeing the movie. Tables and other seating are situated in a corner off of the snack bar with a huge window looking into the mall and across to the nearest neighbor.

Wines, beers, and cocktails are also on the menu. Sacramento, she said, is an IPA town so she has included a selection of local beers and local wines.

Guests toured the thirteen theaters, which include two giant screens. They sat in the spacious and well-cushioned seats, adjusted the table trays, and reclined their legs, which they probably needed if they returned to see the three hour long Avengers movie.

Several employees, including Dyanna Paredes and A.J. Souza, also live nearby. The location benefits Matt Ceccato from Congressman Ami Bera’s office as well. “It’s the closest movie theater to my house,” he said.

The lease was signed in 2015 said Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill, who also operates theaters in Folsom, Woodland, and other locations in California and Idaho.

Country Club Plaza has been through a series of incarnations, seeing shops like JC Penney move to Arden Fair Mall, Woolworth and Weinstocks close, and Macy’s move out. The mall, once a thriving retail location serving a broad population from Carmichael to Natomas and points north and south, is in the midst of reinventing itself, thanks to the new owners who took over a mere four years ago.

WinCo foods took over the long-vacant location that once housed JC Penney and more recently Weinstocks; Planet Fitness set up shop; and Flaming Grill, a decades-long staple on Arden Way, is centrally located in the mall. The theater is one of several entertainment venues the mall seeks to attract.

Rebounderz opened in January and features trampoline-based activities including basketball and dodge ball played on trampolines. A ninja warrior course is also available as are arcade games. Seth Pearl, Operations Manager for the mall, said that a virtual reality center is expected to open this year.

In addition to entertainment, the mall is increasing its offerings of food with several new eateries for take out or dine in. YouMingTang Wutie Tea House across from Luxury Theater is celebrating its grand opening, and the mall’s website says that Luchador Coffee is now serving.

Service businesses are also flourishing and include Sarah’s Alterations and a barber shop that will open soon. Rainbow, a fashion retailer, has also moved in.

A caterer, who was watching her daughters perform on the ninja circuit in Rebounderz, was considering space at the mall and a small business owner was inquiring about a freestanding kiosk space in which he could sell Afghan jewelry.

Although there are many empty spaces and there was not a lot of foot traffic during the ribbon cutting ceremony, the mall is growing. Not everyone is excited about the movie theater’s turquoise and rust paint scheme or night lighting, but the consensus was overwhelmingly positive Wednesday evening.

One woman wanted to buy a ticket and said she would return the next day when the theater opened, but many tickets had been presold said Assistant Manager Payge Lloyd.

“It was an exciting weekend and most showings of Avengers were sold out,” wrote Cinema West Executive Director James Howard. “The shopping center is buzzing with new activity, and it looks like we have a great future.”
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Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill prepares to cut the ribbon.Ribbon Cutting with Cinema West CEO Dave Corkill.Concessioners Dyanna Paredes and A J Souza who will now work close to home at Country Club Cinema.Margo Powers Cinema West’s food and beverage manager and James Howard Cinema West Executive Director James Howard.Image of the luxurious theater accommodations at Country Club Cinema.