Stepping into the newly renovated AMC Southern Hills 12 was a personally cathartic experience.
My first cinematic memory happened in this space, which was once the Carmike Cinemas. I remember my Bubbie (Jewish grandmother) taking me to see “Home Alone” here when it was released in 1990. It was the theater I attended growing up and formed many memories. That being said, enough about me.
The AMC chain of theaters has completely modernized the old Carmike theaters at the Southern Hills Mall. In addition to new recliners, the theater has new tile floors, carpet, paint, a full-service bar, and a concession menu.
As you walk into the lobby after purchasing your box office tickets, your eyes are drawn to the large red and yellow AMC sign on the back wall above upcoming movie posters. The design is elegant and it visually adapts to the space it occupies. If you look down and to the right of the sign you’ll find the MacGuffins Bar, well stocked with liquor and beer. Further to the right is the redeveloped concession stand with high-definition screens advertising the various improved food items on the menu.
The change should come as no surprise to anyone since Carmike has been taken over by AMC, according to AMC Corporate Communications Coordinator Kimberly Sanden.
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âAMC acquired Carmike Cinemas in 2016,â said Sanden. âIt then morphed into AMC Classic Southern Hills, and now with the complete renovation it has become AMC Southern Hills 12. We have three brands; AMC, AMC Classique and AMC Diamant. AMC Classic is our hometown brand; they benefit from attractive discounts and are perhaps less renovated than our other theaters. AMC is our historic brand. They have the bars, the reclining seats, the AMC star fareâ¦ the whole nine meters. This is what this theater has become.
When you head to the theaters you can see a drastic change from what they used to be. Instead of hundreds of ordinary little cinema chairs with just enough legroom for a tall person to curse the theater, the new comfy power recliners with plenty of legroom and two heat settings take up so much space that the largest theater only has space for 74 seats. These seats seem to be the pinnacle of the movie experience. Comfortable seats, warm (when you want) and spaced apart from the seats in front of you. I’m talking about the legroom Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would need.
âThese recliners are incredibly popular across the country,â Sanden said. âWe’ve been putting them in our theaters for over a decade now. Since we acquired Carmike, we’ve been able to bring them to these little towns where you would have to travel far enough to experience something like this. We’re excited to bring them to Sioux City. They recline electrically at the push of a button and also offer two different heat settings, which is great for Iowa in the winter. Each seat has a magnificent view of the screens. The new seats reduce capacity by up to 60 percent. The sound systems of the screen have also been improved.
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” viewers Chris Steemken and Zachary Redenius are already enjoying the improvements.
âIt’s really cool, I like it,â Steemken said of the theaters. âThey remade them (the AMC theaters) all in Omaha as well. I see they also serve alcohol. Plus you can order foodâ¦ they have all kinds of new stuff. The chairs are really comfortable.
âI like the seats,â Redenius said.
As Steemken said, he loves to drink beer. MacGuffins is now open for business.
âWe’re really passionate about responsible service, so we identify with everyone,â Sanden said. âCustomers 21 and over can have a drink before, during or after a movie. We offer draft beers, bottled beers, wine as well as premium cocktails. In fact, we just opened our 300th bar a few months ago, so this is something that not only us, but also other theater chains, notice that customers expect from their experience. They want to go out and spend the whole evening with us. We have to give them everything. We know guests love to have a beer with their movie. We also offer cinema themed cocktails with different versions. It adds another touch to this experience.
If you want to enjoy the MacGuffins experience on your next movie night, consider going in the evening.
âIt’s open in the evenings right now,â Sanden said. âIt will be open longer on weekends, but it opens at 6pm on weekdays so far. “
Along with the new bar, the new menu is here to impress not only moviegoers, but perhaps foodies as well.
âWe have also improved our menu,â said the AMC representative. âIt now has our AMC Feature Fare menu. There will be pretzel bites, flatbread pizzas, chicken and waffle sandwiches, loaded hot dogs, cheeseburger sliders, fries … whatever you want, so you can really enjoy your dinner. and your movie right here at the cinema. We have a whole culinary team at AMC who are constantly testing itemsâ¦ real chefs making these foods. It’s easy to implement for our theater teams, but it’s more of a dinner-theater-style feel.
To make the movie experience even more enjoyable, AMC is launching a loyalty program in Sioux City.
âAMC Stubs A-List allows people to view up to three movies per week for $ 20 per month,â she said. âYou can choose your movies online or through the app. You can also use it to secure tickets in advance – let’s say there’s a big screening coming up: ‘Star Wars’ – you can order your tickets. seats for the opening night so you can plan ahead and choose your seats.
There will be no further searching for empty seats upon entering AMC Southern Hills 12 theaters. Your seats will be allocated as if you were in a traditional theater. This will avoid confusion when you walk into the theater with someone and only individual seats are left. Order online, save time; otherwise, they will allocate seats at the ticket office. Either way, it will no longer be a free-for-all.
Ticket prices vary, depending on date and time, from $ 5.87 to $ 11.12.