Lux Level movie theater opening in Foxboro

Abbie Swanson

Once you go Lux, you never go back. "I won’t go to the movies in the same way again,'' said Nick Lamb, who caught a screening of "The Dark Knight'' with his wife, Maura, from the Lux Level seating at Showcase Cinemas in Randolph.

What really got the Brockton couple hooked was watching the movie in cushy purple armchairs while a server brought them black cherry martinis and Angus sliders.

"Kind of like the comforts of home,'' said Maura Lamb.

Like the Lambs, many moviegoers who see a film from the Lux Level find it hard to return to plain-old stadium seating and concession popcorn. And that’s what National Amusements is banking on as it unveils the area’s second theater with Lux seating, Cinema de Lux, Friday at Patriot Place in Foxboro, adjacent to Gillette Stadium. The Randolph Lux Level seats opened in December.

For an extra $10 moviegoers can experience the premium seats, where the press of a button on the armrest calls a server who quietly delivers food and drinks to swivel dining trays affixed to the seats. In Randolph, patrons who pay regular price sit in a separate section below. Two of Randolph’s screens are Lux-equipped. Of the 14 auditoriums in the Foxboro theater, four are Lux Level. Showing on the Lux screens Friday will be "Pineapple Express,'' "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,'' "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor'' and "Swing Vote.''

An $11,000 Yamaha Baby Grand Disklavier playing prerecorded music in the lobby will greet moviegoers at the new cinema. (There’s no piano in Randolph.) Restaurants on the ground level and the upstairs Lux Level will serve patrons everything from Ben & Jerry’s to Tanqueray martinis with strawberry Pop Rocks rimming the glass to Red Hook ale battered jumbo shrimp.

Retro furniture dotted with tropical bromeliads and orchids sits alongside the mahogany, anigre and zebrawood laminate that makes up the staircase. "You can feel that luxury,'' said Wanda Whitson, spokeswoman for National Amusements.

Moviegoers can eat or drink on the balcony or in one of the lounges equipped with flat screen televisions on the ground level.

"For a long time our industry focused on trying to build efficient theatres – to get people in and out,'' said Shari Redstone, president of National Amusements. "But people go to have a social experience. This gives you a reason to leave home and go to the movies.''

In specs, the Foxboro theater resembles the only other of its kind in the country built last June in Florence, Ky. The Massachusetts theater is now the largest Lux theater, with 3,024 seats compared to Kentucky’s 2,700.

National Amusements is based in Dedham and owns 1,500 theatres and plans to open another Lux Level next year in Dedham.

Back in Randolph, the Lambs said the prices were reasonable, especially considering they would have done dinner at a restaurant before the movie.

"We have two small children so to get out and combine the whole date night into one was nice,'' said Maura Lamb.

Abbie Swanson may be reached at aswanson@ledger.com.