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Luxury cineplex planned for Seaport

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.

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Comments

One theater is looking for a liquor license and is jumping thru hoops, while the theatre on the common just lets kids bring in their own beer and hang out in the back row.

And nobody is willing to say anything for fear of being shot.

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Reminds me of seeing "Titanic" at the Cheri. A few minutes before the movie started one of the exits opened, bringing light into the dark, and in walks a guy carrying a six-pack.

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You think that's the only theater in the world where kids sneak in booze? Been happening since the '50's.

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I liked the old Charles cinemas where you could get a half-pint of ice cream at the Brighams and sneak it into the big screen or the two smaller rooms on the first floor.

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The Capitol Theatre in Arlington has a whole ice cream parlor in it, serving Richardson's ice cream from Middleton MA. The Somerville Theatre, owned by the same folks as the Capitol, sells a smaller selection of Richardson's flavors.

And I think the Brattle Theatre still sells Toscanini's ice cream.

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You can grab a beer at the Somerville Theater. $5 for a pint of good local stuff on draught!

As for sneaky teens, well, my dad's overcoat worked rather nicely with all the inside pockets.

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I thought it was Christy's. Ice Cream.

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That was such a cool movie theatre, and they played such good stuff. I miss that place.

I saw many cool films there when it was in existence: Sounder, Dr. Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, etc., and, last but not least, my all time favorite film, West Side Story, all in 70mm film, yet! Those were the good old days!

I'll never forget that year, back in the summer of 1976, when the film West Side Story, newly re-printed and restored to its former glory, came to the Charles Cinema for a 3-week stay. Since I had a summer job at a jewelry-making factory down in Attleboro that summer, I took full advantage of the fact that West Side Story was there for such a long time, and went right from my summer job down in Attleboro, to the Charles Cinema every other night, to see it!

They did have great ice-cream, as well!

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Now that was a movie theater. Saw Star Wars there the week it came out, as well as the "Director's Cut" of Blade Runner and a restored version of Lawrence of Arabia sometime in the 90s.

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I also saw Star Wars at the old (Sack) Charles Cinema when this latter movie first came out! Another cool film!

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From the concession stand was how I used to do it.

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patronize this place. I can barely abide watching movies in theaters anymore because people can't shut up, sit still, and watch the damned film. Alternative solution: this.

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what a special little snowflake that girl is.
thanks for posting that. i needed a laugh today.

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Alamo Draft House has the right idea. It would be great if an Alamo DraftHouse opened up here in Boston, and if other movie theatres, generally took the kind of hard-line zero-tolerance policy when it came to texting and general cell phone use in the movie theatre, overall.

Good for the proprietor of Alamo Drafthouse Theatre for kicking the girl out with no refund of her money after she'd been warned 3 times not to use her cellphone in the movie theatre!

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... the Harvard Film Archive. Also (almost surely) the films at the Museum of Fine Arts (not been to one shown there for a year or so). No cellphones.

(Have spent 2-3 nights a week at the HFA for the past month due to a retrospective featuring all the films of one of my favorite directors)

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crowds at the art houses tend to be slightly better behaved. But if I want to see a popcorn movie on a giant screen, I have to endure hundreds of rudesbies who treat the place like it's their own living room. It's obnoxious.

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... have generally been pretty good -- and their popcorn is more than reasonable. I guess they don't have many "popcorn movies" however.

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along with the Brattle, Coolidge Corner, Landmark, and maybe those small West Newton and Arlington theaters. HFA is a proper academy film society, casting a very wide historical and geographical net. I wish I lived in walking distance from it.

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and what is really needed in Boston is an art house theater, so when the the various film festivals come to Boston they can show some actually in Boston, instead of just Cambridge/Somerville/Brookline. JP or the South End would be great places for one, as well as Fort Point/Waterfront and Downtown Crossing.

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There was a time when almost every town and every city of Boston neighborhood had its own movie theatre, and more than one, sometimes, to boot.

Unfortunately, most movie theatres have gone to movie theatre heaven, leaving, for the most part, a dearth of repertory theatres here in the Boston area and the United States, generally, and the huge cineplexes with 20 or more box-like cinemas with screens that resemble big-assed TV sets, that dot the highways and byways of the United States, overall.

Sad, indeed.

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The Paramount Theatre, down on Washington Street, is in the general Downtown Crossing area. They not only show movies, but live events as well.

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Generally, the audiences at the art-house/repertory movie theatres, at least here in the Boston area, are much better behaved than the audiences at the huge cineplexes around, largely because the art house/repertory movie theatres tend to play much better-quality, more interesting films. Occasionally, somebody will text or generally start using their cell-phone during the movie, but speaking to the offender(s) politely and matter-of-factly about it gets good results, if one gets the drift.

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In some museums (the Met in NY for example) there is no reception whatsoever, I assume because they have blocked the signal. In a theater, it's not just the noise but the distracting little screens. That would improve things greatly!

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Unfortunatly those are illegal in the US (to use, of course you can buy them, like illegal parts to make motorcycles louder). Even prisons where prisoners are not allowed to use cell phones have lost court cases when they tried to use cell phone jammers. The telecoms win that round.

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have gone to the very difficult lengths it takes to get permission to do it.

It's a shame: I would love to squelch the cheaters at my pub trivia. Hint, ya dopey Millennials: it's not a trivia contest if you're using Google. That's a Googling contest, and pretty much everybody ties for first place doing that. And stop screaming and high-fiving when you get the answer right: you're not fooling anyone.

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Israel has that kind of a system in place, and it's been in place for a number of years.

If people try to use their cellphones, pagers, beepers, etc., in public places, such as movie theatres, museums, restaurants, etc., this system will cause their cellphones, etc., to jam up on them. Then again, Israel's a very small country.

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To the 10:30PM R-Rated movie like you can at The Loop in Methuen?

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You can do that at any movie theater in the country. Have fun.

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It was 11am on a Saturday and I went with a friend of mine to see Friday The 13th (remake).

We're sitting there, and some woman comes in with a stroller... A STROLLER?!? You'r bringing a baby into a R rated movie with lots of noise. About 2 minutes into the previews, the kid starts to cry.. and cry... and cry....

Yeah I didn't pay 10 bucks + 10 in popcorn and drinks to have a baby cry the entire time thru an R rated horror movie.

Needless to say, I went and got an usher, and she was asked to leave.

Yeah I'm a dick but seriously.... a baby @ a horror movie?!? Come on...

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At the beginning of the summer we got a sitter and had a date night. Right before the previews started a family came in with a 3 month old (everyone else was an adult.) That kid was the best behaved person in the theatre, probably since the parents coincided the movie with nap time.

The film- Seth Rogan's Neighbors.

(The real Jim Gaffigan would have brought his entire brood to the 10:30 show!)

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I don't think he would call those people selfish..

But that would describe them perfectly.

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He wouldn't.

For the record, I am scared of bringing my 2 year old to a kiddie movie, though mainly since one of his obsessions in life is crawling under seats and running around as fast as he can. He will have to live his entire life, unfortunately, with the fact that the first movie he "saw" was Identity Thief. Yes, it was the mommy movie of the week (the weeks before and after had actual good movies, but such is life) and no, thankfully he has no memory of it. His parents, on the other hand, can't unsee that thing.

EDIT- you seemingly insulted me, but as your post was changed, I'm assuming an accident, which for me is par. Still,, poor Waquiot Jr. still has the Identity Thief badge for the rest of his life. There are a lot of cool first that happened at a time he won't remember, and thankfully he will be aware of this only when we tell him about it.

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Place looks awesome, but is such a trek.

http://www.chunkys.com

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Chunky's was neat when it opened but it's absolutely miserable, at least the one in Pelham. Basically a large room with fats and the high calorie/fat sub Applebeas level slop to complement them.

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I've never actually been, because it doesn't seem worth the trip unless I was already going up that way for something else (i.e. tax free shopping).

Seems like an awesome concept, but definitely not luxurious enough for Boston.

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There's already that neato theatre with food and booze in Chestnut Hill as part of """""The Street""""" in the meantime.

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Also the one in Legacy Place/Dedham does food + drinks.

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Been to that Chunky's as well. People were ordering food while the movie was playing. The talking was super distracting. ...besides the fact that the concoction of smells once the food kept arriving was nauseating.

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It was quite nice, the food and service was okay, and the audience was quite respectful.

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Isnt this what the Revere Showcase DeLux is?

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They had me at "small plates".

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The minute I see 'small plates' I stop. typically not the place I'd go to.

To me "small plates" means "let's totally jack up the prices of our food so you get half as much for twice the amount".

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I like small plates, and think a lot of small-plates-focused places deliver great value.

Giant portions of mediocre food for cheap is clearly a winning formula in the US, one reason we're a nation of hippos on mobility scooters, but it's not what I look for when I dine out. Smaller servings, more variety, higher quality, please.

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Places with lots of reasonably priced small plates -- where a few folks can try a whole lot of different, interesting and tasty things?

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Comm Ave in Brighton, right off the Green Line. Awesome sangria, as well.

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Coppa, Sarma, La Brasa, Merrill & Co., my favorite Spanish places (Estragon, Toro, Taberna de Haro, Tres Gatos), Casa B, my favorite sushi joints (Cafe Sushi, Toraya), Fairsted Kitchen, Pastoral, Shojo, Puritan & Co., Tavern Road, my favorite dim sum places (Winsor, Bubor Cha Cha, Great Taste).

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Will need to try some of these....

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Istanbul'lu in Teele Sq, they have entrees too but the turksih small plates are great there. Sarma in Winter Hill is great as well, though pricier but not crazy pricy.

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Small plates also = less hearing slobs chew open-mouthed during quiet parts of a film.

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Oh, here we go...

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Yup times 1000

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So much easier to eat from while riding a fixed-gear bike!

(ducks)

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So is a hamburger from McDonald's ;)

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I was being facetious...hard to express on a message board.

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I'm trying to picture where there is space for a 10 screen cinema in that area. Was an address given or are they building it on land directly in front of the vertex buildings on the water? Seems like a building that big would destroy the value of their brand new waterfront property.

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gmaps

I think that is approximately it. No building yet, just a construction site at the moment. There is a fence around the site that will have the COMING SOON data on it, as told, oddly, by a street artist hired specifically for the job.

Edit: I can't get my pin in GMAPS to show up correctly, so pull up that map and then search for 66 Sleeper St. to get the exact location that I am thinking it is.

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That's it exactly. I walk by it every day since they closed down the pedestrian walkway next to the barking crab and underneath seaport. On the renderings they have on the barriers they already have icon cinema written up there.

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got it. one of the few parking lots left. Any word on including a garage in the basement?

...On the plus side at least its not more luxury condos.

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Am I the only one who thinks that looking out into the Harbor is more exciting than staring at a screen? After hours and hours of staring at my laptop the last thing I want is to stare at another screen?

Why stick all kinds of buildings in Seaport when we can all enjoy just relaxing there for once without the traffic, noise, rushing, crowds etc..

There are plenty of theaters where people can watch movies, go to Assembly Row where you too can slip on the platforms when it gets wet, great winter wonderland when it snows.

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Wait until this place is around during the video game convention. Undoubtedly there will be a pilgrimage there to one of the 9000 superhero films due out in the next 10 years that coincides with the convention to leave an everlasting funk of BO in the place.

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Yes, and it always rains then, too.

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Am I the only one who thinks that looking out into the Harbor is more exciting than staring at a screen? After hours and hours of staring at my laptop the last thing I want is to stare at another screen?

So don't go. It's a free country.

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Is this really a good use of one of the best pieces of waterfront property in the area?

As for chilling out along the water, the ICA is wonderful for that!

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If it's 66 Sleeper Street, as MattyC indicated, it's not on the waterfront.

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Fair enough.

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its part of Seaport Square. Which is not along the water. Seaport Square is along both sides of Seaport Boulevard. A hotel is going on Sleeper next to Barking Crab (almost constructed), this is on the east side of Sleeper St.

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You're right about it not being on Fan Pier and I'm updating the original post. It'll be on what's known as Block C, which you can see on a map here. Scroll to the last page and you'll see Block C between Seaport Boulevard and Northern Avenue, across from the Vertex buildings and kitty corner from the courthouse.

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The best use is determined by a number of factors, but one of them regards the question of whether the site will be patronized. I believe it will, and quote heavily. Yes, people can go elsewhere, but why would somebody who is downtown (either for work or residence) want to go to Dedham or Somerville to see a movie? The Seaport is going to have 10,000 residents, the neighborhood needs more than office stumps, apartments, and convention hotels. A movie theater is an important amenity, along with grocery stores and pharmacies.

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We'll see about 10k residents, but it's a good start to making it somewhat of a neighborhood. A grocery store and maybe a dry cleaner would be helpful.

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I agree about some of the other seaport amenities. One of the next projects in line supposedly has some mixed use shopping tied into it, which should hopefully include a small supermarket. Unfortunately, the margins on groceries wont support something like a Wegmans in the Seaport, I don't think. Some downmarket restaurant options would be nice, too.

On the other hand... who cares about the 10000 residents claim? I, and close to 40,000 other people, live in SB, and this is a huge positive for me/us. Maybe they'll come around on the no kids thing, at least for select screenings. I'd love to take the little one to a Disney movie, or whatever, there. I'm content enough to have it for date night, however. Boon for me.

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I didn't dictate the answer. Sheesh.

Reading is fundamental!

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They build up instead of out

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I'm a fan of a grownups-only movie theater, and while this doesn't exactly qualify (17+, younger with parent or guardian), it's a step in the right direction. As for the cellphone using incessantly talking narcissists that are over 17, one can hope that the alcohol won't be enough of a draw to bring them to a not-very-convenient location.

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At threads like this with this post and the Millennial bashing above. I find it comforting to my age that I'm not that old yet but also scary at the thought to start thinking like that one day. I mean how old does one have to be to start liking the idea grown-up only movie theater where it mean 1-year-under-legal-adulthood-with-parents is only a "step in right direction"

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... we taught our kids how to behave at public performances (including movies in theaters) by the time they were 8 or 9. Kids can be attentive and respectful, "adults" can often be dolts. The real problem is that movie theaters are too often understaffed -- and the staff that exists is overworked and/or inattentive or lackadaisical. Bad behaving audience members should be booted -- regardless of age.

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all too often, people are afraid to speak out to rude, disrespectful audiences, for fear of reprisals, if one gets the drift.

Not that long ago, I read at least a couple of rather horrific stories about people who did speak out to rude theatre customers and did get a reprisal;

A) One guy in Philadelphia was shot (although, fortunately, he lived.) for speaking out about another person texting in the movie theatre (although it turned out that the two people involved in this quarrel knew each other and had a long-standing vendetta between them.).

B) In another movie theatre (the location of which escapes me at the moment), one woman who spoke out against two people sitting in front of her talking all during the movie not only got a huge bucket of popcorn dumped on her head, but woke up in a hospital emergency room!

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it would be great if they also played independent films, foreign films, and classic/repertory films, and not just the schlock that's coming out nowadays in the way of movies. There's a real dearth of repertory movie theatres here in the Boston area and in the United States, generally.

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