New luxury recliners for moviegoers

(May 1, 2015) Ocean City moviegoers will be ecstatic to find out Fox Sun & Surf on 143rd Street has upgraded its seating to luxury recliners designed for ultimate comfort with retractable armrests for cuddling and electronic controls to recline the seat back, which instantaneously raises the foot rest.

“The goal is to make going out to the movies a more desirable, luxurious experience,” said Don Fox, President of Fox Theatres. “The upgrading of the Fox Sun & Surf with luxury power recliners will offer Delmarva moviegoers a level of comfort and immersion unmatched by any other movie experience.”

The $1.5 million project began on Feb. 17, starting with a complete interior reconstruction of four auditoriums which included new walls, ceilings, floors, carpeting, lighting and most significantly, seating.

A couple highlights include new ceilings to block out noise on rainy days and an angled front row, which is far enough back to make it the most desirable part of the theatre.

Fox Sun & Surf remained open during renovations until the lobby and restroom phase was started on April 13. Expect to see bright, lavender walls and fully refurbished bathrooms from the sinks to toilets.

The movie theatre reopened the first four of its revamped rooms yesterday, April 30, just in time for Avengers: The Age of Ultron in 2D and 3D.

“All renovations are interior and it will be a surprise for people driving by,” Fox said.

The power recliners are made out of leather, vinyl material and more than $500,000 was spent on them alone, Fox said.

“We want to bring people back to the theatre and recapture the business that was lost,” Fox said.

The final four auditoriums will open on May 20 for Memorial Day weekend showings of Tomorrowland and Poltergeist.

Unfortunately, the plush seating has reduced theatre capacity by more than half. The eight auditoriums will have 715 seats total, which is a loss of 915. Each room will have four wheelchair accessible seats and the two larger theatres have 118 luxury recliners each.

The spacious luxury recliners have more than doubled ticket sales in one of Fox’s Reading, Pa. locations. The seat upgrades were tested in two of the theatres and people kept calling to see what was playing in the comfy seat rooms.

A year later, the final six auditoriums were given the same treatment and business skyrocketed, Fox said.

Feedback has been positive with customers expressing how they are more engrossed in the movie since their bodies are relaxed and they can better focus on what is going on in front of them.

“We think it’s a great investment because more people will come out to the movies on a regular basis,” he added. “If it works, we will upgrade everywhere.”

To combat the loss in seats during busy summer months, Fox Sun & Surf will introduce advanced reserved seating, which allows customers to reserve the exact seats desired avoiding waiting in line before show time. Each seat will be numbered, he added.

“We expect to be very busy at the theatre, but the added convenience of reserved seating will make going to the movies a more relaxing night out for our customers – not having to worry about getting to the theatre extra early on a big night,” said Fox.

Moviegoers can reserve their seats online at Fox Theatres’ website,, on a smartphone through the Fox Theatres app or in person at the box office.

“There is nothing quite like watching a movie on a big screen in a darkened theatre with a vivid digital picture and crystal clear multi-channel sound,” said Fox. “It’s like being in the comfort of your own home with an experience that is private in a public space.”

Fox Theatres is based out Wyomissing, Pa., was founded in 1958 and continues to be family owned.

The Sun & Surf Cinema was built as a twin cinema in 1972 by Schwartz Theatres and expanded to four screens in 1976. Fox Theatres acquired the property in 1980 and added four more screens.

Today, the company operates five theatres with 32 screens in Reading, Pa., Ocean City and Greenbelt, Md.

For more information and to reserve tickets, visit or call 410-213-1505.

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