WESTFIELD, NJ – Movie lovers can expect to see some upgrades to the Westfield Rialto Theater and the Cranford Theatre after their recent acquisition by New Vision Theatres, a corporation that purchases and maintains community movie theaters throughout the country.
Both movie theaters were owned by Carmike Cinemas. In 2016, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. purchased Carmike Cinemas Inc., but was ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice to divest numerous theaters to maintain price competition before the purchase was finalized.
The Westfield Rialto and the Cranford Theatre, along with a movie theater in Sparta, were the only movie theaters in New Jersey that agreed to sell, according to John Halecky, marketing officer of New Vision Theatres.
“Basically, the Department of Justice got involved and told AMC that they had a virtual monopoly and it would be unfair to the general public to have the grip on entertainment,” Halecky said.
New Vision Theatres, which is based in Westfield, acquired 17 theaters in total. They plan to maintain the individual character of each theater, which means a family-friendly selection in Westfield and an arthouse style in Cranford, Halecky said.
“Because the theaters are so close, it works like a multiplex that’s been split into two,” Halecky said. “If it [the movie] has car chases, explosions or computer graphics, it’ll go to Westfield. If it has a linear plot, it’ll go to Cranford.”
According to Halecky, movie-goers can expect to see physical changes to both theaters by the end of the year. New Vision Theatres plans to upgrade the interior of both theaters, fix up the lobbies and possibly install new seating.
“That’s a flexible 12-month schedule but it is the intention to do some upgrading,” Halecky said. “Westfield may see some additions in innovations as far as concessions go.”
Additionally, every New Vision Theatre offers a $5 Tuesday ticket special. Movie tickets are sold for $5 all day on every Tuesday, with extra values on concession items.
Once summer ends, the Cranford Theatre will also special viewings of opera, ballet, Broadway shows from New York and London, and more.
“We’re not making any drastic changes,” Halecky said. “We’re looking forward to doing physical improvements. Even though the name is now New Vision, the operating philosophy for both theaters will continue as it has been.”
Show times and movie titles for these theaters will no longer be available on the AMC website. Information can be found on Fandango, Moviefone and by calling the theater. New Vision Theatres will honor most valid gift cards, passes and certain coupons that were issued by AMC or Carmike Cinemas through July 31.