iPic Theaters, the company that operates a popular luxury movie theater in Pasadena, is bringing its brand of premium cinema to Westwood.
The Boca Raton, Fla.-based chain said it will open its second L.A. County location on May 2 at the former AMC Avco 4 in Westwood, which shut down in November 2011.
iPic has spent two years transforming the property into a six-screen 424-seat movie house where patrons will be able to order drinks and gourmet food from plush, leather reclining seats that have buttons to summon "Ninja" clad waiters.
Consumers will pay extra for the experience, with ticket prices ranging from $15 to $29 (the theater will offer two levels of seating).
“From the moment of arrival, guests will be transported by iPic’s iconic design, which gives the feeling of stepping into a stylish hotel or lounge,” said iPic Entertainment Chief Executive Hamid Hashemi. “Los Angeles is the movie capital of the world, and we are thrilled to bring the iPic Experience to the home of the film industry.”
Hashemi said the company was expanding into Westwood because of the area's appealing demographics and the popularity of iPic's movie theater in Pasadena, which opened in 2009.
The Westwood venue on Wilshire Boulevard will be the 10th for iPic, which has eight other theaters in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin and new cinemas planned for New Jersey, Texas, south Florida, Philadelphia and New York.
The Westwood iPic theater will face some local competition from other circuits offering similar premium services, as theater chains look to grow their business by offering more hospitality services that keep consumers at the multiplex for longer periods.
AMC, the nation's second-largest cinema chain, opened its first dine-in theater in Southern California in Marina del Rey in late 2012. And in January, ArcLight Cinemas announced plans to open its sixth luxury cinema in Southern California in spring 2015.
Gold Class Cinemas started the trend locally in 2009 with the opening of a luxury cinema in Pasadena. iPic acquired the Gold Class Cinemas chain a year later.
"For the longest time, everyone did the same thing," said Hashemi, who founded the Florida-based Movico chain. "The industry has matured. Now, it's following the hospitality model. This is really a different level of experience."
iPic Theaters in Westwood will offer gourmet menu designed by the executive chef Sherry Yard, featuring such items as salmon tartar cones, lobster rolls and apple caramel ice cream cups with almond streusel. A full-service bar will offer a selection of cocktails presented by award-winning mixologist and master sommelier Adam Seger.
Each auditorium will offer reserved seating and provide 4K Digital Projection with Dolby 7.1 Channel sound system.