'Luxury' movie theatre coming to Calgary's Market Mall

Market Mall is getting a new theatre, and this time it's billed as bringing "luxury" to the silver screen.

Landmark Cinemas' premium movie theatre slated to open in spring 2019

A movie theatre is coming back to Market Mall after an absence of more than 15 years. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Market Mall is getting a new theatre, and this time it's billed as bringing "luxury" to the silver screen.

The grand opening is slated for spring 2019. The mall in northwest Calgary had a Famous Players theatre previously, but it closed in 2002.

"As a Calgary-based company, Landmark Cinemas is incredibly excited to bring our recliner experience to CF Market Mall," Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas, said in a release.

"Recliner seating, combined with complimentary reserved seating, provides an unsurpassed movie-going experience while maintaining a value proposition that allows customers to enjoy the movies more often."

It will be located in the southwest corner of the mall, in the space formerly occupied by Staples. The plan includes five screens with 619 "premium powered recliner seats" with extended footrests. It will be pre-purchased reserved seating only.

More restaurants possible with evening traffic

The five-screen theatre will offer premium recliner seating in all of its auditoriums. (Landmark Cinemas)

Market Mall has been undergoing renovations over the past year, with Zara opening its biggest store in the city and Sporting Life making a debut. Premium off-price retailer Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th announced it will be opening a 30,000 square-foot store this fall.

"We always knew that a theatre is the kind of tenant we want to have here. We know that our shoppers would love to have a theatre here," said Darren Milne, general manager for CF Market Mall, told CBC News.

"We really felt like the experience that Landmark brings to that industry was the kind of experience our shoppers are looking for."

Milne says they hope the theatre will drive more evening traffic, which could provide opportunities for more restaurants down the road. He says that bringing Landmark theatres to Market Mall should also help distinguish it from Cadillac Fairview's other shopping centre in Calgary, Chinook Centre.

"We are in a really affluent area," said Milne. "You look at the average household income that's produced by Stats Canada and our primary trade area has a high household income. We think they're going to appreciate a premium movie theatre experience, but also one that still caters to families and to kids."

This is what the concession could look like once the theatre opens at Market Mall in 2019. (Landmark Cinemas)