Film Society plans $750,000 in remodeling.
The lobby of Lakewood Ranch Cinemas often buzzes with activity as patrons wait in line for popcorn and drinks on one side of the lobby and for hot concessions like chicken fingers and hot hogs on the other.
The setup created a bit of chaos, particularly during peak business hours.
“There was a lot of criss-crossing of traffic,” said Nick Caras, managing director for the cinema’s owner, the Sarasota Film Society. “Incorporating both (concession areas) could be the solution.”
The Sarasota Film Society in February embarked on a $750,000 project to enhance its customer experience through interior renovations.
Temporary wooden walls now block the eastern side of the lobby and blue tarps hang from the ceiling in the area that used to serve as an extended lobby with a handicap restroom, a meeting room, a game room and a small cafe from which patrons could buy hot concession items. When you first walk into the facility, it’s the area immediately to the right, at the front, easternmost side of the building.
Contractor Mori Building and Design Group Inc. is working to reconfigure the space into a four-station concession area that will blend the cafe’s hot offerings with more traditional movie concessions, like popcorn, candy and drinks.
Upon entering the cinemas, guest seeking food and beverage will be channeled into one winding line and then queued for the first available concessionaire, rather than waiting in specific lines. There also will be a seating area for guests and the handicap restrooms will reopen.
Barbara Caras, the Sarasota Film Society chief financial officer and executive director, said the new concession area should be open by June 1.
“The flow of people in and out will be much better,” she said. “It’ll be a much nicer experience for customers.”
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.