News Column

Feel at home at the new Paragon theaters

May 16, 2014

By Denise M. Watson, The Virginian-Pilot



May 17--The masterminds behind the new Paragon theaters in Newport News want to offer the best of two entertainment worlds.

Their new "luxury" cinema in City Center at Oyster Point will have food, wine and beer under one roof, making dinner and a movie an easy date night. But that's just the beginning.

Each of the 12 theaters is equipped with plump, leatherette recliners, many with food trays and foot rests, and all of the electronic bells and whistles of the ultimate man -- or woman -- cave of home.

Robert Fronckoski, director of operations for the Florida-based Paragon Entertainment Group, said he wants his guests to feel at home, while making the Paragon a destination entertainment venue.

"We want to turn movies into a night out again."

Paragon will have a "soft" opening this weekend with second-run movies such as "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Frozen" and "Gravity," and free popcorn and soft drinks for those in the military.

The complex includes two "extreme" venues, each with 65-foot, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screens, and seating for about 250.

Some of the smaller theaters can be rented for private or corporate parties, and the screens can be used for video gaming.

The official opening on Thursday -- in time for the 10 p.m. debut of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" -- will include the unveiling of two full-service restaurants.

Patrons can take their meals, including alcoholic beverages, into the theaters.

Food will not be served inside the theaters.

"We believe in the social experience with the film, not the servers," Fronckoski said.

One eatery, My Pi, will offer made-to-order pizzas, which will be baked and ready in less than three minutes.

My Pi will feature local craft beers, as will the NEO Kitchen and Bar, which is billed as a "refined gastropub," with appetizers, salads and entrees.

Today, the theater will have general seating, but for future dates, reservations will be taken online and at the ticket counter. The reservations will allow moviegoers to select seats, particularly if they want ones with food trays and foot rests, which are only available in seats above the main aisle.

Fronckoski said the reservation system means people can eat at their leisure in the restaurants and not have to worry about rushing into the theater for good seats.

Paragon is the latest addition to the Newport News City Center, which includes a live entertainment amphitheater, specialty shops and restaurants such as Toby Keith'sI Love This Bar & Grill.

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Weekend activities

These are events planned at the Paragon theaters in City Center at Oyster Point in Newport News:

Today In honor of Armed Forces Day, free showings of "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Frozen," "American Hustle," "The Lego Movie," and "Gravity," begin at noon for people with a military ID. Registration is required at www.vpcc.org.

Sunday The theaters will have three more free showings at the same time, with a percentage of concession sales going to charity.

More info www.paragontheaters.com.

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Ticket prices

Paragon opens to the public on May 22 with a 10 p.m. showing of "X-Men: Days of Future Past." Ticket prices are:

$11 for adults during evenings and at midnight showing

$8 for matinees before 4 p.m., excludes holidays

$7.50 for children ages 2 to 12 and seniors 62 and older

$7.50 for military

$8 for college students, faculty and staff

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Denise M. Watson, 757-446-2504, denise.watson@pilotonline.com

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(c)2014 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)

Visit The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) at pilotonline.com

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Source: Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA)


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