Cinema Lab Nears Completion

In a recent tour for town leaders of the soon-to-be Cinema Lab, the work of crews to prepare the space for its opening has clearly met with the same delays and difficulties of many construction projects facing supply chain issues and some shortages. The original opening was scheduled for the end of the first quarter of this year. The new date is June 21.

As June 21 approaches, the historic Playhouse in New Canaan is undergoing its final transformation into Cinema Lab, a blend of 21st-century cinematic technology and community-focused amenities, preserving its historic charm while stepping into the modern world. Andy Childs and Luke Parker Bowles, the visionaries behind this ambitious project, are working to revolutionize the traditional movie-going experience and fortify the building’s status as a cultural cornerstone in the community.

The transformation has focused on a marriage of old and new. The renovated cinema will feature two state-of-the-art theaters, each with a seating capacity of 100, including ADA-accessible seats and companion seating options at the rear. The commitment to accessibility extends throughout the venue’s design with a broader goal of community-wide engagement.

Strategically positioned to the left of the theater entrance, a new bar area offers a family-friendly environment with a diverse menu provided by the local favorite, Elm Restaurant. This area is designed to serve not only cinema-goers but also the general public, featuring both indoor and outdoor seating options that promise a convivial atmosphere for families and casual diners alike.

Conversely, on the right, traditional concessions will serve up classic cinema snacks, catering to those looking for the quintessential movie experience. This careful zoning within the building underscores a thoughtful approach to both new additions and traditional elements.

Perhaps most notably, the upper level of the Cinema Lab transforms during the day into a speakeasy-style lounge, replete with comfortable couches and work-friendly tables. Here, visitors can sip coffee and engage in work or leisure in a relaxed, welcoming setting. By night, the space can be transformed, available for private events and gatherings, adding a layer of functionality to the venue.

In an innovative twist, the old movie theater booth has been re-purposed as a check-in point for online ticket purchases. This feature is just one part of a broader strategy to enhance the customer experience through technological integration.

With the clock ticking towards the grand opening, the Cinema Lab team is working tirelessly seven days a week to ensure the venue is ready to welcome the public.

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