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Bowtie Cinemas Ready To Start Reston Remodeling

Construction beings soon to upgrade Town Center movie theater.

When Joe Masher got his first look at Reston’s only movie theater, he reacted in a way similar to many Restonians.

 “It was hard for us to believe that a theater could exist in this condition in the ” Masher says.

Masher wasn’t just looking as a patron. As the chief operating officer of Bowtie Cinemas, he looked with an even more critical eye. In early spring, Bowtie, a Connecticut-based company with 18 upscale theaters, took over management of the Reston movie house from Rave Motion Pictures. So Masher looked to see what changes needed to be made.

The list was a long one.

The progress thus far:

  • A “very thorough cleaning”
  • Repair of broken items, including theater seats and restroom facilities
  • Installation of 3D capabilities.
  • Only fresh popcorn – no warmers.
  • The additions of coffee to concession stand menus.
  • New staff.
  • Putting numbers on the theaters.
  • And – to the relief of many irate patrons from earlier days – “We put the titles back on the marquee.”

The company has also begun several new programs, including $6 Tuesdays (including summer evening show times), the Criterion Club (you earn points for tickets purchased – points can be redeemed for concession items and movie tickets), and the Kids Club (free family-friendly movies each Tuesday and Wednesday in summer until Aug. 17.  Doors open at 9 a.m.; movies show at 10 a.m.).

Those who eat in Reston Town Center restaurants should also ask if the restaurant participates in "Dinner and a Movie," which features discounted or free movie tickets as a perk for dining in the restaurant.

But all these things are just the beginning. Next month,  the company will begin a large reconstruction project that will bring significant changes to the theater.

Masher says the theater will remain open during the construction, but with eight screens instead of 13.  He expects a grand reopening in April 2012.

Coming attractions include:

  • Stadium seating in all auditoriums.
  • Bigger screens, some as large as 50 feet wide.
  • Elimination of the small auditoriums.
  • Additions to the concession stand menus to include more substantial fare such as chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, French fries and pizza.

Masher sums it up with this company goal: “We’re going to make sure that we give nobody a reason to leave Reston Town Center to go to the movies.”

Ken Lanfear July 05, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Having schlepped halfway across the county to see a fine art film and squeezed into a dump of a theater -- you know which one I mean -- I think there is a good market here for quality pictures that don't involve aliens or explosions.
will mcgowan July 06, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Date night - let's go to a movie - what's playing in Reston - Reston? ugh - would rather drive 10 miles than go there. Guess we won't have that conversation anymore if they fixed the old girl up some. Stadium seating is a good start. Make the place attractive to drawn patrons - what a concept! Popcorn is healthy - cleans the colon quite well. Thank you Joe Masher for having a clue.
Graham July 07, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Wonder who SZ is sniding about. I don't see any food police around. Just a few folks who would like more choices than HFCS at the theater. In Europe, you can get some pretty terrific and fresh fare at movie and live theater venues. ... Sounds like the Joe Masher may have a handle on the 21st century -- and on the wonderful, lively, and enlightened Reston community Bow Tie has joined. I'm looking forward to the transformation.
Leslie Perales Loges July 10, 2011 at 05:53 PM
I'm so excited about the renovation. It's desperately needed. We live a couple blocks from the theater and would only go on Tuesdays because it was inexpensive. If it was any other day of the week we'd drive to Sterling or Ashburn to go to a nice theater because the tickets were the same price and we were getting a better experience. Glad our own theater will be worth staying in town for now. :)
Joe August 16, 2011 at 09:15 PM
It sure is nice that renovations are in the work but I wish the management was nicer. It just seems to me that the current managenment doesn't truly care about a good customer experience. Last time I was in there everything just seemed like a trainwreck. Long lines dirty theaters and restrooms. Now alot of my friends are in the military and have gotten used to a discounted military ticket price over the years. One time I overheard the new management talking (no regard for the people around them of course) "huh well no one told us that rave had a military rate..... Well it doesnt matter...... We will just give it a few months and the customers will forget that Reston even had one!" So wait..... Does that mean that bowtie doesn't support the military like every other theater in the world? I don't care what they add or fix during the renovations, I am never going back to Reston again.

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