Seating, dining upgrades coming to Schaumburg movie theater

  • A $9 million renovation upgrading the dining opportunities and seating at the AMC Loews movie theaters at the Streets of Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg is in the works for 2015.

      A $9 million renovation upgrading the dining opportunities and seating at the AMC Loews movie theaters at the Streets of Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg is in the works for 2015. Eric Peterson | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted12/7/2014 7:30 AM

The AMC Loews Streets of Woodfield 20 movie theater in Schaumburg is planning a $9 million renovation in 2015 that will improve seating and add two dining areas, where both alcoholic and specialty nonalcoholic beverages will be served.

The replacement of existing seating with fully reclining seats in 19 of the 20 theaters will result in the total theater capacity to drop nearly 60 percent -- from 4,760 seats to 1,964.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nevertheless, a representative of AMC Theatres told village officials that the company's experience is that attendance increases after such improvements. Each of the new reclining seats are 54 inches wide.

The only one of the 20 theaters where the seating upgrade won't be necessary is the one containing the IMAX screen.

The renovation will add a MacGuffins Bar & Lounge to both the upstairs and downstairs levels of the theaters at the Streets of Woodfield Shopping Center, 601 N. Martingale Road.

These particular improvements require Schaumburg village board approval and will be considered at 7 p.m. Tuesday. AMC Theatres already is able to make the seating changes, Schaumburg Planning & Permits Manager Tom Farace said.

AMC Theatres officials could not be reached for comment on the expected time frame of the project, but Farace said he believed the renovations would be phased in gradually, beginning in the very near future.

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Alcoholic beverages will be sold only to adults 21 years old or older at the MacGuffins Bar & Lounge locations and consumed there or brought into the theaters.

Irene Bahr, a Wheaton-based attorney representing AMC Theatres, told Schaumburg officials that all theater staffers -- not just those working at the bars -- will be trained to enforce underage drinking laws and look for violations.

Other items planned to be sold at MacGuffins are sandwiches, smoothies, cappuccino and espresso. Though the two locations will be classified as restaurants by the village, patrons will need to have a movie ticket to buy food or beverages there.

Though Streets of Woodfield has shared parking for all its stores and restaurants, each business dictates a certain number of required spaces among the whole. With the reduction of movie theater seats that's anticipated, the entire shopping center will have a surplus of 716 parking spaces.

Streets of Woodfield began an exterior upgrade that will later include promotional video screens added to the north wall of the parking garage facing the movie theaters.

Upgrades: Changes to seating mean 60 percent drop in overall capacity

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