A new movie-going experience debuted in northeast South Dakota shortly before Christmas as Golden Ticket Cinemas opened a renovated theater in Uptown Aberdeen; formerly known as the Aberdeen Mall. The renovations include an updated interior and new luxury reclining seats in all theaters.
“You just don’t see smaller towns get a lot of attention. Golden Ticket came in and said Aberdeen deserves to get some reclining seats and get some of that attention,” Golden Ticket Cinemas Aberdeen General Manager Bryan Simpson said.
The theater was shut down due to COVID-19 last spring. In August, Golden Ticket Cinemas announced that it had taken over the operation of the theater and was going to make several improvements. Golden Ticket Cinemas owns nearly a dozen theaters in eight states including Montana, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Northern Electric Cooperative provides power to the Aberdeen theater.
“The existing theater (in Aberdeen) has entertained many for years, but an upgrade to a luxury experience is long overdue,” Golden Ticket Cinemas President John Bloemeke said in a press release in August announcing the changes.
Golden Ticket Cinemas has renovated five of the nine theaters in Aberdeen with luxury seating. Plans are in the works to complete the other four theaters and add a new food and beverage menu in 2021.
The theater is not currently allowing full capacity at any of its showings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Golden Ticket Cinemas is following the CinemaSafe health and safety guidelines that have been put in place by the movie industry. Masks are required in the theater and only half the capacity is being allowed during each showing so there can be plenty of room for social distancing.
Golden Ticket Cinemas is still seeing good crowds even with the pandemic policies in place.
“You’re getting comparable crowds (to the old theater) and they are happier,” Simpson said about moviegoers who are enjoying the new upgrades.
Golden Ticket Cinemas is also offering private shows for groups that would like to reserve an entire theater. A minimum of ten people and $100 is required to reserve a private show. The cost is $10 for each additional person above the ten-person limit. The new theater also has discounted movies on Tuesday nights with all tickets priced at $5.50.
Visit the Golden Ticket Cinemas Aberdeen website at aberdeen.gtcinemas.com for showtimes and to purchase tickets online.