WAITE PARK – Moviegoers willing to spend a little extra money now have the option to book a private show time at Marcus Parkwood Cinema.

Marcus Private Cinema was rolled out to the Waite Park movie theater earlier this month when COVID-19-related restrictions were loosened. Clint Wisialowski, Marcus’ Vice President of Sales, says the company has always offered the option to rent a screen for a private showing, but never for fewer than 20 people at a time.

“In normal times, (private theater rentals) were for large events, corporate meetings, big groups, company things,” Wisialowski explained. “As we realized how popular this was becoming, we knew we needed to make some changes. Everything is different because of COVID – now, we’ve really automated the process to make this available to families every day of the week.”

Wisialowski says customers can book a private showing for up to 20 people through the Marcus app.

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“It’s very similar to buying an individual movie ticket,” he explained. “Only now, you’re buying an entire auditorium for you and up to 19 others.”

Wisialowski says the easiest way to buy a screen is through the Marcus app, which generates a receipt with a barcode to be scanned on the day of the show. The app provides a list of available screens and show times, along with a variety of new releases or older titles.

“We have the newest stuff, like Wonder Woman, and we have a catalog,” he said. “We did a Tom Hanks special and just ran Forrest Gump, which was very well-received. We’ve got retro (films) in there.”

Food and drinks can be bought ahead of time and delivered into the theater or purchased at the concession stand before the show. Masks are required in both the Parkwood lobby and the cinema at all times unless a person is eating or drinking.

Marcus Private Cinema showings cost a flat rate of $175, but the company is offering shows for $99 through the end of January. Wisialowski says, so far, it’s been a hit with customers.

“We’ve hosted couples for a big anniversary where they want to be exclusive,” he said. “Or, if families who are isolating together want to get together and celebrate something, or just enjoy being together.”

To learn more, visit Marcus Theatre’s website.

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