You’ve probably noticed that some of the auditoriums at the Malco Tupelo Commons Theater are closed, as they’re being renovated with new seats going in.
We’ve reached out to Malco for a timeline and more details, but haven’t heard back.
But we can give you some details after looking at the plans submitted to the city.
We told you last fall that Malco would be getting new seats, just as Cinemark was starting its seat-replacement project (and has since finished).
Both theaters are using reclining seats made by VIP Cinema Seating in New Albany, by the way.
Like Cinemark, the Malco Theater will see a reduction in overall seating after the project is finished.
Before the project started, Malco had 1,745 seats in 10 auditoriums. After the work is done, it will have 1,012 seats, a reduction of 733 chairs, or roughly 42 percent, according to the plans.
The auditoriums will have mezzanine and first-floor levels, so the work is indeed a little more involved. Malco had stadium seating before this project, also .
Malco opted to wait until after the Christmas holidays (and the opening blockbusters like “Thor: Ragnarok,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Last October, Malco Vice President and director of marketing Karen Melton said of the wait, “Recliner seating typically reduces seating capacity by 50 percent, and with the upcoming holiday product, we wanted to have as much capacity as possible,” said “Due to our stadium seating, the renovations are more complex and will take longer.”
For the eight-theater Cinemark, seating dropped from 1,384 to 613 after all was said and done.
At Malco, the two biggest auditoriums, No. 5 and No. 6, each have 255 seats before the project; after the work is done, No. 5 will have 135 seats, while No. 6 will have 220.
Auditorium N0. 1 is the next largest with 235 seats, but is going down to 118.
The cost of the Malco project is valued at more than $951,000.