Kingston-area moviegoers have spent the last eight months having to scramble to other mid-Hudson towns to feed their cinematic appetites, since the Regal Cinemas multiplex in the Hudson Valley Mall closed its doors. It was neither the most affordable, the cleanest, the artsiest nor the most nicely appointed of movie theaters in our neck of the woods, but it had 12 screens – some of them 3-D-capable – and reliably brought all the first-run product from the large mainstream studios to town. Living without it was an inconvenience for many.
But now there’s happier news: Neighborhood Cinema Group (NCG Cinema), a Michigan-based chain with theaters in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North and South Carolina and Tennessee, has acquired and renovated the Regal space to become the home of its first New York State location. The spiffed-up facility held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 18 and reopened its doors with a full schedule of film showings on Friday.
The biggest new draw at the NCG Kingston Cinema is likely to be the “luxury seating.” Ticket prices are comparable to what they used to be at Regal, but for $2 more, your ticket entitles you to a deep, cushy recliner with elevating footrest, ample legroom and a little tray table that swivels out of the way. The seats are to be wired for heating in the future, according to NCG representatives. Even the regular-price seats are far fancier, more comfortable and flexible than their predecessors; but if you’re settling in for an epic-length screening, as of the three-hour Avengers: Endgame just opening this week, the extra $2 could be an excellent investment.
Making room for all these recliners to recline means fewer seats in each theater, the largest of which will be able to accommodate 135 ambulatory viewers plus five wheelchairs. So, you’d be wise to avail yourself of the seat-selection screen when you purchase your tickets, whether upon arrival at the theater or online in advance.
Another much-trumpeted selling point is the new layout of the concession area, geared toward season-it-yourself popcorn (salt, extra butter, cheese, powdered ranch dressing) and mix-them-yourself drinks. You pay for your cup by size, then fill it with whatever beverage combination you like. Want a fizzy smoothie? Have at it. All refills are free.
The walls and floors have been resurfaced with modern faux stone in shades of grey and beige. Bathrooms have new sinks, dispensers and dryers. Projection and sound systems have reportedly been upgraded, although the screen in the one theater I visited seemed about the same as before. As of opening week, no 3-D screenings were scheduled, but they are promised in the future.
The NCG Kingston Cinema is located at the north end of the Hudson Valley Mall, at 1300 Ulster Avenue (Route 9W) in the Town of Ulster. To check out showtimes and order tickets online, visit https://ncgmovies.com/kingston.