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Galaxy Amps Up Luxury - Improvements, Additions
Guests at Galaxy can reserve their seats in advance online, with the Galaxy phone application, at the theatre or they can walk in and see the available seating for their preferred movie and time. VIRGINIA STILL/The News

All 12 auditoriums have been remodeled at the Galaxy Theatre in Riverbank to accommodate new luxury seating that have a larger platform where guests can fully recline and kick their feet up to enjoy a movie. Along with the new luxury seating the remodel also included a new bar area that serves a variety of beer on tap, bottled beer, wine, premium sausages and more. There has been no increase in the price of admission into the Galaxy since the luxury seats have been installed except for a $1 service charge to purchase tickets online for reserved seating and $2 charge for the Atmos sound experience.
The new chairs have an electric powered foot rest and have more room for people to walk by without causing a disruption. There is a tray attached to each seat with a movable arm for convenience for concession items which no longer will have to be placed on your lap.
“It is like a private screening room, you are not as conscious of the other people and it gives you an opportunity to just sit back and enjoy the movie really,” said Galaxy Theatre Owner, Rafe Cohen. “So it’s convenient and comfortable and it just takes the movie experience to a new level.”
The large auditorium in the theatre also has a new type of sound system called DFX Atmos that has 52 speakers and 25,000 watts with a screen that is two-and-a-half stories high from ceiling to floor. There are no other theatres in this area except for San Francisco and Southern California that have this type of sound technology.
According to Cohen, they have had tremendous success in other theatres that have the luxury seating and after analyzing the market in Riverbank, he knew the community would benefit from this improvement.
“We wanted to bring a first class state of the art theatrical movie experience to Riverbank and the greater Modesto area,” stated Cohen. “We have had a lot of positive feedback on the changes here at Galaxy.”
The luxury seating has reduced the original occupancy by about half; however, Cohen believes that even though there are not as many seats he believes there will be more people going to the movies on a regular basis.
The new seats have also added an option of reserved seating which you can do online from a computer, from the Galaxy application on your smart phone, or you can still walk up and purchase the tickets at the theatre.
Cohen explained that rather than going to the movies on a Saturday night and trying to find seats you can reserve your seats and purchase the tickets beforehand. So if the theatre is extremely busy, with reserved seating you can purchase your tickets in advance and guarantee your seats for a service charge of $1. As a convenience the online purchaser would not have to wait in the regular ticket line, they would proceed with their printed receipt to the ticket collector.
Guests that are not used to reserve seating or prefer purchasing tickets at the counter of the theatre can still walk up and purchase their tickets. The theatre attendant will ask which movie and time preferred, then shows the seating availability for that auditorium, anything in light gray is available, seats in blue have been purchased, and the green seats are a suggested section for the movie guest.
The remodel also included a new bar area where you can order five different types of premium sausage with about 10 different toppings that a guest can select at no extra charge. Other food options include a monster pretzel, freshetta pizza, and white castle sliders along with the traditional favorites like popcorn and nachos.
They have 10 beers on tap including Angry Orchard, Samuel Adams, Dust Bowls Hops of Wrath, Sierra Nevada, Firestone, Widmer, Bud Light and domestic and import bottled beers as well.
There are several wines being offered by the glass.
“We realize it is a privilege to be able to sell beer and wine and we follow all the rules to the letter of the law,” stated Cohen. “You notice there are no chairs where we are selling the alcohol; it is really like a concession item, people buy a drink and they go in and see a movie.”
Cohen explained that it is just like buying a coke and popcorn at a movie. You go into the movie and usually don’t leave again until the end because you don’t want to miss anything.
There is also a “For Real” milkshake machine available so that guests can enjoy a custom milkshake in a variety of flavors. Guests will purchase a milkshake at the counter and receive a container where they will take it to the machine and select thick, thin or normal.
The theatre still offers D-Box MFX motion seats in the new recliner luxury seats. The idea of the motion seats is to add another element to enhance the overall movie experience.
April Gonzales and her girls Haylee, Kara, and Jenna watched “Planes: Fire and Rescue” at Galaxy and expressed that they really enjoyed the movie experience with the new luxury seating.
“It was like watching a movie at home, the only thing missing was a blanket, it was really nice,” stated April. “It was a new experience and it made the movie theatre seem more of a grand experience than normal.
“We will definitely be back.”