Fox Unveils Luxury Recliners At Sun and Surf Cinema; Massive Renovations Carried Out In North OC

Fox Unveils Luxury Recliners At Sun and Surf Cinema; Massive Renovations Carried Out In North OC
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OCEAN CITY – Fox Sun and Surf Cinema in north Ocean City is the first movie theatre on Delmarva to feature deluxe loungers and now offers a transformative movie experience.

Fox Sun and Surf Cinema on 143rd Street and Coastal Higway has re-opened four newly revamped theatres out of its eight auditoriums. The recently re-opened theatres have gone under extensive renovations, featuring luxury recliners that will give moviegoers the ultimate in comfort experience with electronic controls for reclining the seat back and raising the footrest as well as retractable armrests. The other four theatres renovations are underway.

“Some people say we are trying to make it more like home, not at all. It is a transformative movie experience where you are seeing an image and sound bigger than life … and where you feel relaxed,” President of Fox Theatres Don Fox said.

The $1.5 million project began in February with the total interior reconstruction of the four theaters leading up to a complete shutdown of the facility a few weeks ago while the lobby and restrooms received a makeover as well.

“The goal is to make going out to the movies a more desirable, luxurious experience,” Fox said. “Even though the spacious luxury recliners reduce theater capacity by over half, we’ve more than doubled our ticket sales at a Pennsylvania location that we similarly upgraded last year.”

Last week, on April 30, the newly renovated theatres reopened featuring the new plush seating just in

Fox Theaters President Don Fox is pictured in one of the new luxury recliners installed at the north Ocean City theatre this spring. Photo by Joanne Shriner

Fox Theaters President Don Fox is pictured in one of the new luxury recliners installed at the north Ocean City theatre this spring. Photo by Joanne Shriner

time for the release of Avengers: The Age of Ultron in 2D and 3D. The theatre will open the remaining four screens on May 20 in time for Memorial Day weekend and the opening of Tomorrowland and Poltergeist.

“The customers were really excited,” Assistant Manager Charlie Adkins said the day after the renovated theatres reopened. “A lot of people that came last night are regulars, and they wanted to stop to tell me how great it looked in here and how much the seats were comfortable. They loved it.”

The theatre has also introduced advanced reserved seating that allows customers to choose their own seats.

“All the seats are reserved, so there isn’t any anxiety of getting here early to find seats. You can go to the concession stand and not feel rushed. It really is a great way of going to the movies,” Fox said.

Moviegoers can reserve seats online at Fox Theatres’ website,, on a smartphone through the Fox Theatres app, or in person at the box office.

“There is nothing quite like watching a movie on a big screen in a darkened theatre with a vivid digital picture and crystal clear multi-channel sound. The upgrading of Fox Sun and Surf with luxury power recliners will offer Delmarva moviegoers a level of comfort and immersion unmatched by any other movie experience,” he said.

Once experiencing the seating, moviegoers become big fans, Fox added.

“It becomes their theatre where they start coming out more and more,” he said. “What will happen here, we hope, is the local market will come more often and our market will also expand, so people living between here and Salisbury or Rehoboth who are used to driving to those locations for a nicer movie experience will start coming back.”

The Dispatch last visited Fox Sun and Surf Cinema in 2012 when all eight screens were converted to state-of-the-art digital cinema, making the venue 100 percent digital replacing the 35mm film projectors. The movie theater’s sound system had also received an upgrade in all of its auditoriums to state-of-the-art Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo sound.

In addition to showing 3-D movies, the digital cinema systems enabled Fox Sun and Surf Cinema to show live HD broadcasts of opera, concerts and sporting events.

At that time, Fox let on other improvements were to come such as lobby renovations and new seating. However, he wasn’t sure in what direction to go.

“Recliners hadn’t come into vogue yet,” Fox said. “We have had such success with this seating in the theatre in Pennsylvania; it was the obvious thing to do here. We are not the first ones to do it in the country; we have modeled our concept after other theatres that have had enormous success also.”

Fox hinted enhancement s at Fox Sun and Surf Cinema are not over.

“The goal is to be more successful in what we do. We love what we do, we love showing movies, and we want to bring more people out,” he said.

Fox Theatres, based in Wyomissing, Pa., was founded in 1957 by Richard Fox and continues to be family owned. The Sun and Surf Cinema, built as a twin cinema in 1972 by Schwartz Theatres, was first expanded to four screens in 1976. Fox Theatres acquired the property in 1980 and added four more screens.

Today Fox Theatres operates five theatres with 32 screens: Fox Berkshire 8 and Fox East 4 in Reading, Pa.; Fox Sun and Surf 8 and Gold Coast 4 in Ocean City; and Academy 8 in Greenbelt.

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