Royal City residents won't have to leave town for much longer to catching the latest movies on the silver screen.
Landmark Cinemas is aiming to open its new 10-screen multiplex cinemas in New Westminster in May. Landmark is developing a state-of-the-art, 35,000 square foot multiplex that will include digital sound, RealD 3D technology and stadium style seating at The Plaza at Westminster Station.
"We should be ready to open the doors on May 11," said Neil Campbell, chief operating office of Landmark Cinemas. "I am quite happy with the 11th. May 4 is the start of summer."
The summer movie season kicks off May 4 with the opening of movies including The Avengers, which brings together Marvel Comics superhero team including Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk and Thor.
"That is one of the big tent poles," Campbell said. "Tent poles are pictures we are anticipating are $150 million or better."
Movies set to be released a week later - in time for the theatre's opening - include Dark Shadows (A Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp).
"You have to look at the trailer - that is a killer trailer," Campbell said. "It is so good."
May 2012 will also see new releases such as What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Dictator, Battleship and Men in Black III. June's releases include Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Snow White and the Huntsman and Rock of Ages.
Campbell said May is a "perfect time" to open a new theatre.
"This is the biggest season in our industry every year," he said. "This summer has got so many titles."
With movies like The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman and The Bourne Legacy being released this summer, Campbell said there's stiff competition to be the summer blockbuster.
Construction of the Landmark Cinemas at The Plaza is continuing at a furious pace. Some seating has been installed and candy counters were installed this week.
"To me it's very, very contemporary," Campbell said of its design. "Because of the people who live in the towers around there, we want to make it their home theatre."
The cinemas will feature standard concession stands with offerings like popcorn, pop and candy.
According to Campbell, experience has shown that expanded menu items slowed down the lineups - and most people preferred the traditional movie-going treats.
Campbell, who once sold movies to the old New West Cinemas at Westminster Mall, said there's no comparison between the new theatres and the ones located in the city in the past.
"The seating and everything is built for today's customers," he said. "It's not going to be lacking for anything."
All 10 of the cinemas will feature digital screens.
"The winner in digital is the audience," Campbell said. "There is an absolute pristine movie every time."
Campbell is impressed with the level of interest that local residents have shown in the new theatres.
"I get emails every week," he said. "People call and want to know where are we? What's happening? I think that is so cool - they want to know when it is opening. They care enough to have tracked me down."