CARROLLWOOD - Villagio Cinemas at Carrollwood, a production two years in the making, premiered Thursday night with six screens, leather motorized reclining seats, an Italian-based menu and full bar service.
The theater at 11778 N. Dale Mabry Highway in the Main Street shopping plaza is open beginning at noon every day.
"Two years this thing has been in the build," said owner Howard Edelman "There have been a lot of obstacles in our way." One of the biggest: a contractor repairing a leaky roof revealed by spring rains in 2011 didn't finish before a heavy downpour months later, flooding and heavily damaging the six theater property.
Now, state-of-the-art everything is in place, including the robotic leather seats that let theater patrons not only select the recline mode, but adjust seat height, Edelman said. Each row of seating is separated by 80 inches, allowing a patron to fully recline, if desired.
The cinema features the latest in digital projection and sound.
The lobby includes a large lounge and full bar that seats 25. "When you walk in, you don't feel like you're in a movie theater; you feel like you're in a restaurant or outside in Tuscany," Edelman said.
Italian-born Giuseppe Mascali, owner-operator of Villagio Ristorante in Lutz since 1999, developed the theater's menu. The large on-site kitchen employs 14 people, Edelman said.
Family films will be shown during the daytime, but after 6 p.m., admission will be restricted to patrons age 21 and older, with proper identification.
Admission is $12, except for the noon movies each day, when admission is $10.
For a recording of current films and curtain times, call (813) 498-2800 or visit the theater website, villagiocinemas.com.
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