Stockton Theater to See Upgrades Including Bigger, Reclining Seats

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Some new featured attractions will soon change a theater in downtown Stockton: Wider, bigger recliner seats and alcohol. It’s all thanks to an agreement that was made in Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which was unanimously approved.

For James Durant, before 11 a.m. on a weekday is the perfect time and the perfect place to buy movie tickets.

The Stockton City Centre Stadium 16 theater is one of his favorites. It’s been his go-to for years.

“It’s just big. It’s nice. It’s nice. It’s in a good part of town, it’s right by the waterfront, and it’s good, and it’s close to where I’m at,” said Durant, a Stockton resident.

Now that the city has approved an agreement with Regal Theaters and the property owner, Atlantic Properties, Durant and other patrons will soon see what some argue are sorely needed -- $4 million upgrades.

The movie theater in downtown Stockton has been here for about 12 years, but in recent years, it has been seeing fewer and fewer moviegoers according to the city of Stockton.

In the hopes of raising attendance by 40 to 80 percent, beer and wine will be sold inside.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’ll be a great, great improvement and an incentive to come to downtown Stockton,” said Pam Arana of Stockton.

"Beer and wine, I don’t know. I’m not so cool about that. I’m wondering what the element might be late at night,” Patricia Ling, a moviegoer, explained.

"It’s going to make people have to get up and go to the bathroom and miss part of the movie,” Durant told FOX40.

Plus the theater is getting bigger, wider, reclining seats that could take shape as early as next year. No city money will be used for the renovation and the city’s old debt of $420,000 from the previous agreement it had with the theater will vanish.

“I think it’s great that they’re going to be doing some improvements. This is my hometown, and I feel loyalty towards it,” Arana said.

Some great plans, but for Durant, he’s just glad that on Wednesday, he scored his tickets to Star Wars.

“I got my tickets!” he exclaimed.

Once the work on upgrades begins, it should take about four months to complete.

The new agreement also ensures that theater operators will be off the hook for a $2.4 million obligation they had with the city’s former redevelopment agency.