Local officials and business owners got the red carpet treatment on June 20 for Regal Cinemas 13’s grand opening on Merrick Road in Lynbrook. The event featured hors d’oeuvres, free wine and beer and a free movie screening.
“I didn’t think it was going to be this nice,” said Jane Pace, a nutritionist who wites restaurant reviews for Bon Appetit Mom from her Lakeview house. “They obviously put a lot of effort into this.”
The 83,022-square-foot theater opened three days before the event, when Regal offered $3 movies and $3 soft drinks to raise funds for local charities, At the grand opening ceremony, which was invite-only, representatives from the Children’s Medical Fund of New York, Variety — The Children’s Charity of New York and the Leukemia & Lymphoma society were presented with checks for $13,500 each.
“It’s just an amazing donation,” said Gina Segreti, the executive director of Children’s Medical Fund, an organization that raises funds for children in hospitals. “It means a lot to us.”
To mark the official grand opening, theater employees ripped apart tickets, in lieu of a ribbon cutting ceremony. Ed Blumenfeld, the president of Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group, then thanked those who helped him build the theater and said that he hopes Lynbrook residents enjoy the facility as much as he thinks they will.
Blumenfeld also spoke about the difficulties he experienced building the theater, which took almost two years to complete. There were many construction delays caused by weather, problems with contractors and issues passing inspections. “But we got it done,” Blumenfeld said, adding that he was relieved to complete it.
Mayor Alan Beach also thanked Blumenfeld and Regal Cinemas for completing the $21 million project. He said that it could not have been done without the help of his board, and mentioned that former Mayor Eugene Scarpato’s dream of having a new theater in Lynbrook for more than 20 years has been realized.
“This is fantastic,” Beach said. “This is like the best thing to happen to Lynbrook.”
The theater has 13 auditoriums, 12 of which vary in size from 60 seats to 100. Six are on the first floor, and seven are upstairs. Auditorium 13 is a special Regal Premium Experience theater, which seats 160. RPX is comparable to an IMAX theater, with a larger screen and seats that can vibrate and have built-in speakers. During the celebration, guests were invited to screen “The Incredibles 2” in the RPX theater for no charge.
Amenities in the theater include king-size recliners with remote controls and padded footrests, digital projections with an emphasis on crystal-clear pictures, 3D projection systems, Regal Express kiosks that offer automated ticket purchasing and mobile tickets that can be sent to a smart phone via the Regal app. There are also digital screens that update upcoming train and bus schedules. In addition, the theater has a section that tells patrons how far Lyfts are from the theater. The only refreshment stand in the building is on the first floor, near the building’s entrance.
“Regal Lynbrook 13 will provide our guests with luxurious and spacious recliners to go along with the Regal Premium Experience,” Rachel Lueras, Regal’s marketing manager, told the Herald earlier this month. “We’re excited for residents of Lynbrook and the surrounding areas to experience the best Regal has to offer at this state-of-the-art theater.”
Valet parking is available at the Pistilli building, at 303 Merrick Road, for $5 per vehicle. In addition, officials have an agreement with Regal that there must be 695 parking spaces in the village that permit four-hour parking for the theater.