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Movie-goers find comforts of home at Addison theater

Published: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT
(Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com)
Jenny Brenkus, general manager of Marcus Theaters in Addison, demonstrates Nov. 15 how the theater's new electric DreamLounger recliners work. (Mark Busch - mbusch@shawmedia.com)

ADDISON – The awkward silent fights over arm rests and cramping legs after two hours bent at 90 degrees have long kept movie-goers agitated and alert through feature length films.

Marcus Addison Cinema patrons now face a new theater challenge.

"We tease people, 'Did you stay awake?'" said General Manager Jenny Brenkus.

That's right, the 25-year Marcus employee worries people might catch a few Z's even during the 3-D version of action-packed "Thor: The Dark World" all because of the theater's new DreamLoungerSM recliners.

"It's like sitting in your own living room in your own recliner; really it is," said patron Judy Hilligoss after watching the newest Thor movie.

While the 140-degree recliner might remind audience members of homey comforts, the 65-foot UltraScreen presents them a unique theater experience.

The luxurious loungers do take up more room than traditional auditorium seats. Brenkus said the theater lost a little more than half of its capacity through the switch.

"But now we are filling our capacity," she added.

The project began in September and Brenkus expects it to be complete by Christmas. Currently about half of the theaters feature red leather DreamLoungerSM recliners, while the others are closed while the new seats are installed.

Only the UltraScreen DLX auditorium adds the three-story tall Ultra Screen. Dolby Atmos immersive sound is expected to be installed by the end of the month as well.

Addison is the first theater in Illinois to combine recliners, UltraScreen and immersive sound, according to Marcus, which has made the same changes to only two other theaters in the country.

Luxurious amenities can ease the discomfort of a disappointing movie, but a plush headrest and a place to put your feet up can only do so much.

"That part was excellent," said movie-goer Mike Wilkes about the new UltraScreen DLX auditorium. "The movie itself I thought was pretty poor."

Wilkes thought the Thor sequel didn't live up to its predecessor. He found that the special effects on the giant screen took away from the simple good vs. evil storyline.

Still he and his wife, Sharon, have been back to the Marcus in Addison four times since the recliners first appeared.

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If you go

What: UltraScreen DLX Auditorium

Where: Marcus Addison Cinema, 1555 W. Lake St.

Movie times: www.marcustheatres.com or 630-932-0864

Movie giveaways

Prizes: To celebrate the launch of the new UltraScreen DLX, Marcus Theatres is sponsoring a number of giveaways, including a pair of DreamLounger recliners valued at $4,000 for the grand prize. Another 25 winners will receive packages of four courtesy passes to the movies of their choice.

How to enter: Visit MarcusTheatres.com\DreamLoungerSweepstakes or go to the theater in person.

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