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Phenomenal filmmakers strut CityWalk

Top Hollywood directors attend Universal Cinema grand opening.

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Steven Spielberg (front center) and filmmakers at Universal CityWalk’s Universal Cinema.

Steven Spielberg (front center) and filmmakers at Universal CityWalk’s Universal Cinema.

Courtesy of Eric Curtis

Courtesy of Eric Curtis

Steven Spielberg (front center) and filmmakers at Universal CityWalk’s Universal Cinema.

Samantha Diaz, Staff Writer

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Steven Spielberg, Jordan Peele, and other directors helped unveil Universal CityWalk’s multi-million dollar renovated movie theater, the Universal Cinema.

Ron Meyer, the vice chairman of NBCUniversal and Karen Irwin, president and COO of Universal Studios Hollywood, were in attendance to give speeches and celebrate the theater’s opening. Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Will Packer (“Straight Outta Compton”) and Emmy Award-winning producer Jason Blum (“Get Out”) also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  

Spielberg, a Cal State Long Beach alum, addressed the crowd eager to step inside the newly renovated theater and spoke about the importance theaters bring to the film watching experience.

“As filmmakers, we create movies that invite moviegoers to enter other worlds, even if it’s just for a couple of hours,” said Spielberg. “In the best case scenario, the moviegoing experience and its venue are on par with the movie you came to enjoy. Universal Cinema defines advancement and technology with this incredible new movie theater.”

Universal CityWalk coined the phrase “see movies where movies are made,” to usher in the new theater, since it is in the same lot where multiple big name movies have been filmed including “Jurassic Park” and “Jaws,” both films directed by Spielberg.

“Universal Studios has been a part of my life as long as I can actually remember my life,” Spielberg said. “I am happy to be here tonight to join the official opening of Universal Cinema, where moviegoers have the rare opportunity to see movies at the very place where movies are actually made.”

The new theater is set to resemble that of a Hollywood screening room, with leather reclining seats, Dolby Atmos surround sound and Christie RGB laser projection. The auditoriums are completely dark with all black seats, walls and even speakers to allow a more immersive experience for moviegoers.

“We wanted to create a venue that was equal to how filmmakers watch movies,” said Meyer. “The transformation of Universal Studios Hollywood and and Universal CityWalk is the result of a year comprehensive blueprint.”

The renovation includes the Director’s Lounge Cocktail Bar with a full-service bar where guests are allowed to bring their drinks into the upper level auditoriums. Snacks offered at the cinema vary from cafe-style smoothies and coffees to your average movie theater snacks.

A single auditorium on the second floor also includes select seats on the balcony level, allowing viewers to experience films in the same way they are screened by directors.

Universal Cinema is now open to the public with 18 auditoriums for viewing and tickets for $21.25.

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