The will soon be the first East Coast location of the California-based ArcLight Cinemas, Westfield and the theater chain announced Tuesday.
A movie theater is which will also feature upscale restaurants in a renovated and expanded dining terrace.
As the theater tenant, ArcLight will bring a 16-screen, state-of-the-art movie complex to Westfield, with the mall’s current three-screen cinema converted to retail shops, according to a statement. Construction is expected to begin early in 2013 with an opening in early 2014.
Though the theater chain only has four locations in Southern California, it’s met success since its founding ten years ago, according to an LA Times report. The theaters charge a “premium” ticket price – about 20 percent more than conventional theaters, according to the report – for amenities including “reserved seating, commercial-free movies, gourmet food and Q&As with filmmakers.”
Its original California theater ranks among the country's highest-grossing movie theaters, according to the LA Times, and the company is expected to generate $70 million in revenue this year, up from $50 million in 2009.
The Bethesda complex will also boast “extra-wide stadium seating with double armrests, [a] no late seating policy and [a] 'cinema-focused' gift shop,” along with a lounge adjacent to each theater where patrons 21 and older can sip on beer, wine and cocktails during select screenings.
The theater will screen a "mix" of movies from "independent art house fare and cult classics to Hollywood blockbusters."
“We’ve created a unique experience at ArcLight Cinemas and we want to share our love of film with movie lovers across the country,” said Chris Forman, CEO of ArcLight Cinemas, in a statement. “Bethesda provides us with a great opportunity to build an ArcLight community on the East Coast and redefine the way people enjoy their movies.”
The opening of the Bethesda theater will mark the beginning of a “modest nationwide expansion” for the chain, the LA Times reported, with more locations planned in the East and the Midwest.
In a statement, Westfield representatives called the addition of the cinema “key” to the mall’s redevelopment.
“The addition of ArcLight sets the benchmark for similar premier quality offerings which Westfield will deliver to our shoppers as part of this long awaited revitalization,” said Clive Mackenzie, senior vice president of Westfield, in the statement.