Theater updates out of this world

Written by Tyler Reese
Galaxy Theatre Collage

General Manager AJ Taylor stands in front of one of the two largest movie screens in Riverside’s Mission Grove Galaxy Theatres. (Clockwise From Top Left) Main Lobby enters final stages for reconstruction. Luxury seating designed in a stadium format. Moviegoers experience the newly renovated auditoriums with all of its amenities. One of the original theater designs undergoes remodeling.

From the biggest screens in Riverside to five star accommodations, this movie theater might just have it all.

“We offer a five star experience at a three star price – the best value in Riverside,” said AJ Taylor, general manager of the Galaxy Theatres in Mission Grove.

The Galaxy Theatres in Mission Grove located at 121 E. Alessandro Blvd. in the Southeastern end of Riverside is now undergoing a full renovation and remodeling process. The theater expects to have its grand reopening before the major blockbuster event Star Wars The Force Awakens comes out into theaters Dec. 18. 

“This particular building opened in 1996. I was fortunate to come on with the company in October of 2004,” Taylor said. “Mission Grove began operating under the Galaxy Umbrella here in Riverside on May 15, 2015.”

Since the theater opened, the management has been switched around three times, once under CinemaStar then Regional Properties Inc. (The owner of Mission Grove Plaza) and now Galaxy Theatres.

Not only does Galaxy Theatres have big plans for the Mission Grove location such as remodeling, but they are also revamping the menu, adding to its new accommodation of luxury seats and service such as ushering to and delivery of food to customers seats.

Furthermore, they now have assorted pretzel sticks, pizza, edamame, funnel cake fries and their very own signature blend of popcorn cooked with 100 percent coconut oil, real butter and Orville Redenbacher seeds. There is flavored seasonings available to sprinkle onto the popcorn including nacho cheese, ranch, white cheddar and many more. 

“We are soon unveiling a gourmet sausage bar, where you can get premium sausages from spicy italian, bratwurst and jalapeño cheddar,” Taylor said. “Some of the toppings available will include shredded bacon, shredded fresh cheese, onions, avocado, chili, sauerkraut, you name it. All of which will be housed on a hoagie roll or pretzel bun. We are still exploring what additional food items, but are currently eying chicken strips, mozzarella sticks, loaded pulled-pork nachos as well as pulled-pork sandwiches.”

Not only will the theater host a new food menu but in addition they will be adding liquor to the menu as well.

“We will boast an extensive craft beer selection both on draught and in the bottle, as well as wine, and frozen daiquiris/margaritas. I am hoping to add some breweries like Smog City, Mother Earth, Firestone Walker, Modern Times, Ballast Point and Bottle Logic among many others to provide a variety in our lineup,” Taylor said. “There will be something for everyone, not just light or domestic beer drinkers and hop heads.”

Along with all the new additions to the menu and remodeling of the lobby and theaters the newest upgrades that they have received are the new DFX houses, which stands for Digital Fusion Experience.

“For our DFX houses our screens are a bit special, as they are High Gain Angle 3D compatible white screens (most 3D screens are silver which are normal grade while the white are currently the highest quality),” Taylor said. “They actually haven’t been on the market very long, and we like to always stay on the cutting edge of technology.”

Like the other auditoriums in the theater, they’re all lined with plush luxury reclining seats with a mini table attached but as for the DFX houses there’s much more. Not only do they have the luxury seats but house the biggest screens in Riverside at 65 feet from ceiling to floor and wall to wall dimensions.

The DFX houses carry the newest sound and visual technology to date with Dolby Atmos 360 degree full sound immersion that allows directors to precisely pinpoint where they want sound to be heard from within the theater. Additionally, the DFX houses carry Master Image 3D, a technology company that produces the sharpest and most stunning experience including high color image clarity with high frame rate film presentations at 48 & 60 frames per second.

To complement all of the new additions being added to the Mission Grove Theaters, the rewards program they have is free to sign up and maintain. Plus there are many benefits in doing so, such as guests being able to accumulate points which can be used for free concession items and ticket purchases. 

Random rewards are also sent to members via email with free upgrades such as specialty collectors cups, tubs and free screening ticket offers. As a bonus, members don’t even have to carry a membership card once members sign up because they can look up members by phone number.

In 1996 movie star Mickey Rooney attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Mission Grove Theaters on Mar. 21 when it was still with Cinemastar as a 14 screen theater. Now Galaxy Theatre’s has taken the reigns and the Mission Grove Theaters are currently being turned into the luxurious 18 screen technological marvel that it is today.

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Ticket pricing:

Adult Matinee: $9.75

Adult Evening: $11.75

Children (2-11) and Seniors 60 and older, all day pricing $8.75

Student Evening : $10.75 

Military Evening : $10.75

All of the above tickets have a $3 premium for 3D features

*Matinee ends at 5 p.m. and their matinee time is fixed so it does not change on different days of the week including weekends and holidays.*