Construction continues on the IMAX addition of the Galaxy Luxury Plus Theatre in Riverbank that is predicted to be completed in January or February, 2016. The new addition of the IMAX will have approximately 440 seats, 3D technology, leather reclining chairs, and a huge wall to wall screen.
The Riverbank Chamber of Commerce organized a breakfast and presentation by Galaxy CEO Frank Rimkus, updating the community on the IMAX theatre and the business opportunity it will bring. The gathering was served up at Galaxy on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
The Chamber treated everyone that attended to breakfast which included fruit, coffee, and quiche from Marie Callender’s.
The Galaxy was opened in 2000 and had several skeptics at that time, Rimkus explained, yet said officials considered Riverbank a hub in an area that was considered de-centralized but for their type of use was very centralized.
He also added that the regional market population from which they draw their business includes over half a billion people and within a 10-mile radius of Riverbank is a population of 380,000, the household income in Riverbank is within the U.S. Average and 74.4 percent are family households – all of which are taken into consideration when determining where to locate a Galaxy site.
“This is very stable and very nice especially in our business,” said Rimkus. “The reason we found Riverbank to be attractive is because of your road system, major arteries come through Riverbank.
“This is 15 years of history for us. When it comes to the movie experience we clearly are the dominant one in this area.”
With the investment of $15 million for the Luxury Plus upgrade at the Galaxy and another $5 million with the IMAX addition, Rimkus expressed that the investment is well founded.
He explained that for the last 15 years, there have been over 400,000 visitors annually coming to see a movie at the Galaxy and in 2015 there was a projected 159 percent increase and currently the increase is at 167 percent, with that figure calculated in August. With the addition of the IMAX, he believes that number will increase even more.
According to information provided by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, 72 percent of the American public goes to the movies. Rimkus said 80 percent of those are adults with children under 18, and 93 percent are teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17.
With all the technology that teenagers have like cell phones, tablets, and computers the percentage of teens that go to the movies is still high, he noted.
“A movie theatre is an anchor in a business community,” added Rimkus. “We believe it should be a social icon.”
Along with the state of the art theatre, all digital projection, all digital sound, luxury seats, easy parking, and premier concessions, the Galaxy CEO believes that it is a complete movie experience that they deliver, including friendly customer service.
“People are more interested in value,” said Rimkus. “They want bang for their buck. Riverbank is the fifth theatre that we have converted to Luxury Plus, which are the chairs and reserved seating.”
The expansion of the concessions with gourmet food selections and addition of wine and beer options have been well received here, according to Rimkus.
He stated that they are known for their popcorn and are the only theatre in the county that uses real butter.
There is excitement in community for the new IMAX and the audience gathered for the presentation on Wednesday showed it with their applause and commentary.
At the end of the presentation, Mayor Richard O’Brien presented Rimkus a certificate on behalf of the city.
“We are pleased with Galaxy’s success,” said O’Brien. “I can’t wait for the IMAX and the amount of traffic coming through Riverbank (due to the Galaxy upgrades) is amazing.”