Cinépolis debuts new look, expansion with May 13 celebration

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Del Mar will celebrate its recent refresh with a grand re-opening event on Saturday, May 13, complete with games, giveaways, music and complimentary popcorn for movie goers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As part of its expansion and renovation, the cinema has brought in all new reclining, plush leather seats in all of its theaters, not just the new ones, and now all theaters will be able to serve alcohol for adults, not just the limited selection in the past.

“We’re really excited about the grand re-opening, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Mike Reed, Cinépolis USA’s regional manager who opened the theaters at Del Mar Highlands five and a half years ago. “We want everyone to know that we’re open and we’re bigger and better than ever. We want everyone to come back and see us and enjoy the luxury movie experience they have become accustomed to.”

The expanded lobby in Cinepolis features artwork from Del Mar Art Center.
The expanded lobby in Cinepolis features artwork from Del Mar Art Center. (Karen Billing)

The theater was closed for renovations and expansion from September 2016 through mid-December 2016. The theater partially opened on Dec. 15 and is now ready for a close-up on its new look. The refresh includes three new auditoriums that added nearly 200 seats, an expanded concessions and lobby area and a complete remodel of the kitchen that allows them to keep up with the volume of serving food and drinks for a now 11-plex cinema. The expansion brought Cinépolis Del Mar up to 713 seats, making it the brand’s largest luxury theater in the country.

All theaters feature Cinépolis’ push-button at-your-seat service where waiters can bring menu items such as gourmet sliders and skinny fries, salads, flatbread pizzas, tacos and paninis, The always-changing menu includes desserts like milkshakes, chocolate lava cake and cinnamon and sugar churro bites, as well as classic movie snacks such as popcorn (gourmet versions include truffle popcorn and zebra popcorn drizzled in white and milk chocolate), candy, pretzels and nachos. The full bar serves up wine, beer and cocktails.

“With the renovation I think we have addressed a lot of guests’ concerns,” said Manager Brandon Carson, noting that comments they most heard from visitors was that there wasn’t enough parking and that the theater needed more bathrooms.

Cinépolis has benefited from Del Mar Highlands Town Center’s new three-level parking garage, located directly adjacent to the theater. Reed said there is almost always a space open, and elevators and stairs from the garage bring moviegoers right to the plaza in front of the theater. As far as the restrooms, they added additional restrooms close to the new theaters in addition to the ones upstairs in the lobby and on the other side of the cinema.

Reed said the summer is shaping up to a big one for movies and their bartenders have come up with a new slate of movie-themed cocktails to go along with them. On part one of the summer movie cocktail menu is “Why is the Rum Always Gone?”, inspired by “The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” which comes out on May 26. The tropical buried treasure is a mix of Bacardi rum, peach Schnapps, lemon simple syrup and Sprite topped with a Ron Zacapa rum float. Also on the menu is the bright blue “The Lasso of Truth” inspired by “Wonder Woman” which comes out June 2, featuring Grey Goose, St. Germaine, grenadine and blue Curacao garnished with a sword of raspberries.

The summer drink line-up.
The summer drink line-up.

“We update the menu all the time throughout the year to do movie tie-ins,” Reed said. “They’re a big hit, they’re delicious and we’re proud because our bartenders here create them.”

As part of the re-opening festivities on May 13, complimentary popcorn will be served along with a special wine and cheese plate combo that will be available for $10. All proceeds from each combo purchased will go to The Vision of Children Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in San Diego whose mission is to cure hereditary childhood blindness and other vision disorders, and to improve the lives of visually-impaired individuals and their families.

The opening will also mark the official debut of a partnership between the theater and the Del Mar Art Center, a local nonprofit art gallery. Works of art from the Del Mar Art Center fill the walls of the expanded lobby and the hallways — local artists’ work will be rotated in throughout the year and will be available for purchase.

Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas Del Mar is located at Del Mar Highlands Town Center, 12905 El Camino Real, San Diego (Carmel Valley) 92130. For more information or movie times, visit