Buckland Hills 18 + IMAX

99 Redstone Road,
Manchester, CT 06045

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Buckland Hills 18 + IMAX

Showcase Cinemas Buckland Hills opened May 22, 1998 on the former site of Builders Square. Built into this former warehouse, the project cost $8 million. The theatre has four large auditoriums with true stadium seating, all with about 290 seats each. The remaining cinemas have about 120 seats each and lower tiers (about 1/3 lower than the standard 18 inch riser).

The cinema offers hot foods (served from an auto fry at the concession stand). In 2004 theatre #16 was converted to IMAX, a wall to wall, floor to ceiling screen was built for the 3-D exhibition of “The Polar Express”. While the screens are a decent sized, this one is relatively weak by IMAX standards.

Ironically this theatre resides on Redstone Road. I don’t think thats a refrence to its owners.

Two extra screens were added, and then in December 2009, it was taken over by Rave Motion Picture Theatres, and in June 2013 was taken over by Cinemark.

Contributed by John J. Fink

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Kaddy on August 17, 2008 at 5:27 am

I’m surprised no one has posted here in a while about this place. Although I have been absent from CT for some time, I finally went back to the old Showcase Buckland Hills recently to see The Dark Knight in Imax. I will say their IMAX screen is a bit on the small side. I was VERY impressed with the renovations that seem to be completed now.

They’ve added two screens and converted two theatres into Directors Halls. They also closed a theatre to add Chatters and a food court, but closed the back of the lobby, and turned it into a huge concession stand and another theatre. So they have 18 screens now.

I was talking to an employee, and I learned that they plan to introduce CT to the everpopular Lux Level in the near future by renovating theatre one.

In addition to the regular fare at the concession stand, one can get Pretzel Depot, Nathan’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, Sbarro’s or a full meal with drink at Chatters. I want to try out the Director’s Halls next, and can’t wait for the Lux Level that I’ve heard so much about.

All in all, I used to hate this cookie cutter theatre that was always overcrowded. It’s still crowded, but for some reason just seems better run since the cinema de lux conversion.

e1337n00b on March 14, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I love the renovations that they gave this place, added 2 very large screens on the left side of the bulding, the bar, and the decor. Even before the renvations it was very well run, but with the addition of the 2 lager auditoriums, this makes it my main destination, I travel the extra 15 min for a great experience

MaryNance on June 15, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I heard one of their managers is a sex offender or something. and whenever I go to see a movie and he’s there he’s always creepily talking to younger girls. is this legal??

shoeshoe14 on December 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Newspiece about Rave taking over ownership. http://tinyurl.com/ya3bxop

John Fink
John Fink on November 6, 2010 at 4:10 am

Was here this evening – good digital projection (still not sold on digital, but it was sharp and in focus, more than I could say for another screening I had prior that I will talk about once that theatre’s corporate gets back to me). The theatre really hasn’t changed much – aside from digital projection and the removal of the reserved seating (even though some Rave’s have rebranded them as “Rave Reserved”). Did solid business it looks like, probably now more than ever with East Hartford gone (that was always plan B if a show was sold out here). Chatters is now “Bar & Grill” with a smaller menu with the words “cRAVE”. The quick service concessions are all still open. The popcorn is larger but not as good, and the fountains are now coke.

Still a good multiplex experience much as it was under National Amusements.

John Fink
John Fink on November 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm

A quick note on the rebranding: they actually replaced the “Showcase Cinemas” sign on the door with “rave motion pictures” – however for the marquee on Redstone Road (ha ha – no longer the owners of the property…) they simply painted over the “Showcase” name, as I had seen at their Hazlet site. Truthfully it looks a bit ghetto – like a cheap discount operator came in and took over. As for the other rebranding – they also have covered up verses replaced the “Cinema De Lux” branding with temporary-looking signage that I suppose will now be permeant. This is better though than some sites where they simply just took off the letters “Showcase” or “Multiplex” and left on “Cinemas”.

John Fink
John Fink on September 27, 2012 at 8:32 am

It’s actually 18 screens now – – two were added before Rave took it over (right around the time East Hartford and East Windsor shut down).

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on September 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I think the marquee is probably been redone by now. I know when I was in Cincinnati for Cinematour the managers at one of the theatres said that they were taking down/covering all the marquees. When you think about it people don’t really look at them anymore because they 1) expect every theatre is showing every movie regardless of the zone they’re in and 2) they used the internet instead.

rivest266 on February 26, 2017 at 1:07 am

May 22nd, 1998 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Jgr9 on March 29, 2018 at 7:15 pm

I’m confused… I almost can’t believe how it’s possible that I didn’t go to this theater before 1998. I don’t think I went to the one in East Hartford (now closed) that often.

And what about that seemingly ancient EXIT sign and directions video that they finally (sadly) stopped showing recently? Maybe I’m thinking of the one that was in East Windsor? (Also now closed.) I guess that was probably it. Was the tape effect on that video fake? How old was that theater?

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