A ten-screen complex being planned for Seaport Square across from Fan Pier will feature reserved seating in custom recliners for moviegoers who will be able to sup on small plates and sip from their wine or beer.
Kerasotes Showplace Theatres has begun work on its proposed Showplace Icon for a building in front of one of the current Vertex buildings. The company highlighted its proposal this morning in hearing before the Boston Licensing Board - which decides whether to let it buy the liquor license now held by the Bar Room on Broad Street.
Robert Gallivan, the theater complex's proposed manager, said he hopes to have the theater open by late 2016 or early 2017, mostly showing Hollywood fare, but the with odd art film and special showing, for example, of New York's Metropolitan Opera or even Broadway shows. Tickets at the chain's existing Chicago theater go for $13.
Gallivan said theaters will range in size from 50 to 131 seats - all of which will be reserved over the Web or via a smartphone app.
A lobby lounge will be limited to the 21+ set and will feature alcoholic drinks and a waterfront vista, he said. He added that nobody under 17 will be allowed in any of the theaters, and even then, only if accompanied by a parent - an older girlfriend, boyfriend or friend just will not do.
Food and drink will not be offered in the theaters themselves, but each seat will have a small swing-out table to let moviegoers snack during screenings, he said.
With their seats already reserved, patrons won't have to worry about rushing in to stand in line to get a seat, he said, adding that ushers will guide guests to their appointed seats.
"What we are offering is a civilized alternative to your traditional movie theaters," he said. "It's a cross between a very nice movie theater and legitimate theater."
Dennis Quilty, the company's attorney, said the Wharf District Task Force was quite happy to hear the chain would be buying the Bar Room's liquor license. The theaters are "a much more genteel style operation" than what the task force has seen on Broad Street, he said.
Quilty added the complex would be the first of its type in Boston. The Showcase Cinema De Lux in Dedham offfers reserved seating - along with seatside food and drink service.
The board could decide Thursday whether to approve the license transfer.
The mayor's office, and city councilors Michael Flaherty, Michelle Wu and Ayanna Pressley sent representatives to today's hearing to support the proposal.