Denise Neil: Warren Old Town Theatre’s upgrades make Director’s Suite even sweeter

04/14/2013 7:53 AM

08/08/2014 10:16 AM

My favorite place to watch movies in Wichita just got better. And no, it’s not my living room.

This place is even more comfortable. Plus, people fetch me things.

It’s called the Director’s Suite, and it’s on the second floor of the Warren Old Town Theatre.

The room is tiny – it seats only 20. And it can be difficult to get a seat at the same time a movie you actually want to see is playing.

But it’s worth the trouble.

The Director’s Suite opened in 2009, but I somehow didn’t learn about it until a couple of years ago.

It looks – and feels – a lot like the private theater rooms you see on shows about movie stars’ “cribs.” Plush seats. Tray tables. Food and beverages at your command.

And it just got a $40,000 upgrade.

On Thursday, I was invited to see the remodeled theater, which has been closed since March while crews worked on it, and it’s even more plush now.

The comfortable recliner chairs have been replaced with even more comfortable recliner chairs – and these recline electrically, with the push of a button.

The perfectly acceptable plastic table trays attached to each chair have been replaced with fancy wooden ones, each of which is fitted with a button moviegoers push when they feel hungry or thirsty. Waiters assigned to the room will fetch you as much popcorn as you care to pay for, as many burgers and beers as you want to buy.

The suite lost two chairs during the remodel, going from 22 to 20, but it was for the good of the room. It now has five rows of four seats each, and they’re elevated as they go back to improve sightlines.

“We want you to be able to watch a movie like a movie mogul would,” said Les Padzensky, the Warren’s vice president of food and beverage services.

It’s more expensive to watch a movie in the Director’s Suite. Usual adult admission is $7 for a matinee or $10 for an evening show. The Director’s Suite seats are $12 for a matinee, $16 for an evening show.

You’re paying for comfort and exclusivity, and it’s a treat, for sure.

The theater also is available for private parties. It’s $500 to rent it, and for more, patrons can have a buffet set up in the room. It was particularly popular, Padzensky said, when “Magic Mike” came out. Groups of girlfriends rented the suite and whooped it up.

It’s also available for birthday parties and even can be rented for game viewing. The theater also can show television programs on the screen.

You have to check movie listings at www.warrentheatres.com to see what’s playing in the Director’s Suite and when, and I recommend calling for reservations. In fact, I always buy mine online in advance just to make sure I can get one of those sweet suite seats.

About Denise Neil

Denise has been an Eagle reporter since 1997. She writes about pop culture on Sundays, reviews restaurants on Fridays and blogs at Dining with Denise. Previously, she worked for the Chattanooga Times and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Contact Denise at 316-268-6327 or by e-mailing dneil@wichitaeagle.com

Follow Denise on Twitter: @DeniseNeil

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