The first movie theater to be built in Delray Beach in 40 years opens at 25 SE Fourth Ave. on Thursday, March 7. The luxury theater and cultural center is part of the iPic Entertainment brand, which introduced its first high-end theater, Muvico Palace in Boca Raton, in 1999.
iPic Delray boasts some impressive amenities, including pod seating which, when reclined, blocks other movie-watchers from view. Says iPic founder and CEO Hamid Hashemi, "You can't see anyone, no one can see you. It's almost like watching a movie in the privacy of your home and the same sense of intimacy, but in a shared environment — the way movies are intended to be watched."
The theater's standard cost for movie tickets is $29, but it can go as low as $20 for iPic members. Servers will be available with gourmet food options and cocktails at the push of a button. There's also unlimited complimentary popcorn, blankets, and pillows.
Last week, the company launched an app that will let customers order tickets from home — and food and beverages from their seats — by the end of March.
Murals by artists whose work can be found in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, including Peter Tunney, adorn the walls of the building.
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Asked if iPic Delray and the steady increase of luxury theaters in South Florida is a response to Internet film streaming, Hashemi says no. His company first offered these theater amenities during the early days of the internet, about two decades before streaming became the norm. "Like any other business, you have to enhance the experience," he says. "We don't compete with in-home entertainment as much as with out-of-home entertainment."
To that point, iPic has been streaming Netflix films in its theaters for the past two years. "You can get it free at home, but people still come to the theater because they are looking for that shared experience."
iPic also hosts auditoriums designed for live music and comedy shows. And the building has top quality office space. Parking is available onsite for one dollar for the first three-and-a-half hours for theater guests.
iPic Delray. 25 SE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach; 561-359-5844; ipic.com.