For decades, stars have dazzled theater goers on the silver screen inside theaters across the nation. Theaters take every day people and transport and immerse them in different scenes, different countries and sometimes completely different worlds or universes.
The quaint little theater in downtown Waconia is no different. However, there are some big changes coming to make everyone’s theater experience even more enjoyable.
The small six-theater movie complex in Waconia was recently acquired by Michigan-based Emagine Entertainment. Emagine acquired all of the Minnesota-based Muller Family Theaters in a purchase during the summer of 2016.
Despite being a slightly larger company with 17 theaters throughout Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, Emagine aims to keep the family theater atmosphere in its small-town theaters.
“We love that location [Waconia],” Emagine Vice President of Sales and Marketing Melissa Boudreau said. “It’s just a fun community in a great neighborhood that we excited to be a part of.”
With the new owners, comes a variety of changes and upgrades to the theaters in order to provide theater goers with the best experience possible. However, Emagine aims to keep trips to the theater affordable for all, while still providing luxury amenities.
“It’s like flying first class, but paying for coach,” Boudreau said.
Boudreau said they’ll be changing a variety of things, from little things such as making the popcorn with olive oil and sea salt, and the addition of a coke freestyle machine to larger upgrades such as reclining leather seats and larger screens in every theater.
Other changes and upgrades to the Waconia theater will include updates to the concessions stand so that they are easier to use for employees and offer enhanced options to theater goers. The updated concessions stand will offer a full menu and a full service bar.
Another change coming to the Waconia theater will be the addition of what Boudreau referred to as a “hang out area.”
The new chill spot will off patrons a place to kick back, relax and meet up before or after a showing, enjoy some grub or drinks or “just a nice place to hang out,” according to Boudreau.
The soon-to-be hang out spot isn’t the only place to gather at the Emagine Theater in Waconia. The quickly changing theater will offer birthday party events at the theater, as well as private theater rentals.
All of larger changes coming to the Waconia theater are expected to begin in early 2018, with a four to eight month window to completion, according to Boudreau.
Boudreau said that as of now, the plan is for the theater to remain open throughout all of the renovation process, with only temporary section closures taking place during it.
“Our goal is to stay open throughout the process, so that the community can continue to enjoy the theater while we upgrade,” Boudreau said.
After the renovations, all six theaters in the complex will offer theater goers stadium seating with reclining seats, large screens and the opportunity to reserve specific seats inside the theater.