The movie theater experience hasn’t changed all that much since the first recorded U.S. exhibition of projected motion picture in 1894. Sure, technology has advanced as far as picture quality and sound, but the idea of “going to the movies” has meant the same thing for more than a century. That is, until now, as iPic Theater is looking to bring affordable luxury and innovation to New Jersey theater-goers.
Founded in 2006 by President and CEO Hamid Hashemi, iPic Entertainment was created to deliver a superior movie-watching experience. In 2010, the first iPic Theater opened in Scottsdale, Arizona, simultaneously bringing the ideas of an improved cinematic experience and “dining-in-the-dark” to life. With the latest iPic Theater now open in Fort Lee, Garden State movie buffs can see what all the fuss is about.
iPic offers “Premium Plus Seating Pods” in pairs of two or groups of three. All seats are reserved in advance — as is the growing trend for many movie chains — and the theater encourages visitors to book their seats a few weeks in advance. These pods offer full-leg reclining seats, courtesy pillows and blankets, a table for dining, cubbies to store personal effects, and personal service call buttons for ordering food and drinks. Guests are helped by “Ninja” servers, who are dubbed as such because they crouch and speak quietly, ensuring the movie-watching experience is never interrupted for guests.
For guests in larger groups, or those who don’t plan on having a full meal during the movie, iPic also offers “Premium Chase Lounge” seating which provides a similar level of seated comfort. These seats are also booked in advance. In fact, iPic Theaters was the first to offer reserved seating, which allows guests to select their specific seat in the theater in advance of their arrival. Beyond that, reserving a seat at iPic grants viewers access to that seat for the entire night, so guests are encouraged to either enjoy the sit-down City Perch Kitchen + Bar below the theater before going to the movie, or staying in the theater the entire time while taking advantage of the in-theater dining iPic Express menu, which is specifically designed to serve culinary delights that can be enjoyed without cutlery.
Movie-goers who plan to frequent an iPic Theater can join their Membership plan to receive numerous benefits, including advanced online ticket purchasing, discounted pricing, access to films before the general public and other members-only rewards. iPic offers four levels of Membership, with the first level (Purple) being free. The second level, Sapphire, costs an annual fee of $29 (plus tax), while the remaining two tiers above Sapphire — Gold and Platinum, respectively — are only attainable after purchasing a predetermined number of movie tickets per year. Members-only benefits at the Sapphire tier and above range from earning points on all ticket, food and beverage purchases and free Premium birthday tickets to free anniversary dessert, complimentary upgrades and more.
Fort Lee’s “iPic Theater at Hudson Lights” officially opened to the public on August 5. The theater is located on 2023 Hudson St. Though construction is still ongoing, the theater is fully functional, so those interested can visit the iPic website for showtimes and other information about the venue. For daily news and updates, check out iPic on Twitter and Instagram.
Hero (Top) Feature Image (& Additional Images): © iPic Theaters