Eagle 9 theater in Hobbs installing new recliner seating
Eagle 9 theater is getting an upgrade in preparation for the upcoming summer movie season.
This week, a construction crew started the replacement of seating in the nine theater rooms. Crews spent the past couple of days breaking down and removing seats in four theaters and will replace them with a more comfortable option.
“The new seats coming in are going to be really nice seats,” said Eagle 9 General Manager Rick Littlejohn. “They are called VIP seats and they are going to be electric reclining seats that will have swinging tables right in front of you. That way, you can have your popcorn and drinks right next to you without having to get them off the floor.”
Additional space was needed because the new seating allows moviegoers to recline their seat. To accommodate, the rows will be twice as large and fill half the original seating.
“The three original theaters are our largest theaters,” Littlejohn said. “They held around 190 seats and now they will be down to about 80 seats. If a person were to extend the recline position to the max, people would still have about a foot and a half walkway to pass by to their seat. Each theater will lose about half of their seating when the project is complete.”
The smaller theater rooms that held around 100 to 110 seats will now be in the 50 to 60 seat range.
All seats will be reserved, as is the norm at larger movie theaters outside of Lea County. Moviegoers can either go online, choose and purchase seats or choose from the theater’s box office. Littlejohn said purchasing your seats online does offer some advantages.
“If you are running late from your house or if you are coming from Lovington or Seminole to watch a movie, if you went online and bought your seat, you won’t have to worry about the movie selling out,” Littlejohn said. “You already know where your seat is going to be. No one should be in your seat and we’ll get them out if they are.”
Littlejohn said customers who purchase online can print out the ticket or bring a confirmation number to be redeemed.
“(Online users) won’t even have to go to the box office,” Littlejohn said. “They can walk in and a doorman will have something to redeem that ticket. When they go online, the user will see (a visual screen with) seating make-up and have the option to pick where they want to sit.”
Eagle 9 is owned by Allen Theaters, which is headquartered out of Farmington with a second office in Las Cruces. They have theaters throughout New Mexico including in Carlsbad, Roswell and Clovis. The company recently acquired two theaters in Arizona and have two additional theaters in Colorado.
“You are already seeing these seats in theaters in larger towns,” Littlejohn said. “So, our company is taking the step forward to making the environment more comfortable for our Hobbs moviegoers. Hobbs has been a good market for our company. So, they want the movie experience to be as nice for the customer as possible.”
Littlejohn said at least five theaters will stay in operation during the project. The original three theaters and the ninth theater room are undergoing the change. Once complete, work will start on theater rooms 4-6, then finish with theater rooms 7-8. Little-john said each project takes about 3 1/2 weeks to complete the transition. Which means overall, it’s an estimated 10-week project.
“Provided there aren’t any delays or anything,” Little-john said. “We normally don’t have to worry about weather, unless the materials are being shipped from a location where there’s bad weather. The seats aren’t even on site when the project starts. The company starts making them when you order them