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Review: Dream Lounger recliners add comfort to big-screen viewing

Fargo’s Century Cinema is now equipped with Dream Loungers, electronic leather recliners that boast ample legroom, comfort and cupholders. Special to The Forum

Despite the outrageous markup on snacks – how could a fountain soda really cost more than $5? – I’ve gone to the movies every few months for as long as I can remember.

I could just wait to rent or stream the movie, watching from the comfort of home while saving money in the process. But there’s something different about seeing it on the big screen, surrounded by friends or perfect strangers.

Still, those seats – those cramped, uncomfortable seats – made it almost unbearable to sit through a movie that stretched on for more than two hours. Until now.

Marcus Theatres, which operates three multiplexes in Fargo-Moorhead, has spent several months revamping two of its spaces, overhauling the entire Century Cinema and upgrading the 14-screen West Acres Cinema, both in Fargo.

Those renovations included installing Dream Loungers, electronic leather recliners that boast ample legroom, comfort and cup holders, at all 10 Century Cinema screens and in the Ultrascreen auditorium at West Acres, and I’m impressed.

I’ve enjoyed watching movies from the new seats twice now, both times at Century Cinema, and think it would be hard to go back to the old chairs after getting used to this modern luxury.

The upgrade does require a change in planning to go to the theater: the larger size of the seats, and the much more accommodating legroom for each seat, means the auditoriums had to cut the max capacity of viewers for each showing. Where two rows of seats used to fit, only one row of recliners stands now.

Customers pre-select which seats they’ll sit in during their showing of choice, and can purchase the tickets through a handy smartphone app, at the ticket counter or by using a kiosk at the entrance.

But the biggest change happens once the moviegoer gets inside the auditorium and takes their seat in the large, red recliner. Most are set up like loveseats, with two combined recliners separated by an armrest that can be moved up and out of the way, though there are some standalone chairs to choose from.

It’s easy to get cozy in the overstuffed chairs, especially because there’s actually enough room to fully recline – though kicking back all the way could be dangerous for the people like me who are already tempted to sleep their way through long, boring films like the “Hobbit” movies.

I would’ve kept suffering through the less comfortable but completely reasonable old seats if necessary. But given the option, I’d kick back and take a comfy recliner for a night at the movies anytime.

Bottom line:

Theatergoers will love the new Dream Loungers at select Marcus Theatres screens. There’s never been a more comfortable way to enjoy a movie on the big screen.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.

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