Cinema 5 to expand, add alcohol sales

Staff reports

A renovation and remodel of Brookings’ Cinema 5 Theater will add three more screens, a name change to Cinema 8, reclining seats and eventually, wine and beer sales.


With the renovation and expansion of the theater, owner Dick Peterson said the current box office and concession stand would convert to a screening room where moviegoers can sit in large lounge chairs and order wine or beer. Vintage drive- in speakers will give a nod to the theater’s long-time presence in Brookings. Previews of coming attractions up through 2017 will play on screens located in the room or customers can turn down the volume to talk, he said.


The screening room is scheduled to open after the first of the year, Peterson said. Theaters in the Twin Cities and other large metro areas have started offering alcohol.


“We thought we’d be the first to have it here,” Peterson said.


SDSU’s consideration of beer sales at football games and alcohol at other special events also prompted the change. Growth in SDSU overall impacts the theater’s business success.


“It’s a good town,” Peterson said. “It’s a good business town.”


Four of the current theaters have been converted to stadium seating. The largest auditorium will shut down for renovations to stadium seating beginning Sept. 2. The three new theaters will have front-row VIP luxury reclining seating.


Cinema 5 will stay open during the renovations. The addition to the Cinema 5 building will be complete by Nov. 1 with the addition of the three new theaters and a different location for the existing concession stand and box office, doubling the size of the current concession stand.


At that point the current box office and concession area will go offline and work will begin on the screening room. The room will be separately enclosed and accessible only from the parking lot. Beer and wine will be consumed only in the screening room.


When it opens, the largest theater space will have a 40×8-foot screen and Brookings will have the largest stadium theater in the state.


Peterson plans a grand opening when most of the work is completed. The date is tentatively set as Nov. 3, the day before the new space is opened with a showing of Dr. Strange on Nov. 4.


The renovations have been in the planning stage for some time, Peterson said, and were first considered due to industry advances that required new sound, screens and digital technology.


Peterson, a third-generation theater owner, also owns the Pierre movie theater. Some renovations took place there several years ago. More improvements to that space are being considered after the Brookings theater changes are complete.