Milford Movies 9 highlights new technology and COVID-19 precautions

tagsConcert Hall Seating

In the dark movie theater, you lean back against the brilliance of the huge luminous screen. Popcorn's mouth is half open, and something in the movie makes you hold your breath and tears into your eyes.

Embarrassingly, you suddenly look left and right and notice that people around you are smelling the wind. Maybe someone is reaching for a tissue.

Despite the sad moments, the experiences shared with complete strangers make you feel connected and inspired.

This is the kind of experience the owner Art Helmick hopes to bring to Milford when he opens his brand new cinema on December 31.

Hermick said: "Film is an escape." Hermick also owns Newark's Main Street movies and Middletown's Westown Movies (Westown Movies), and he firmly believes that people will Look for this opportunity more than ever.

Helmick purchased the property in October 2018 near the Route 1 exit at 989 N. Dupont Blvd., which is a 72,000-square-foot building that used to be Walmart ( Walmart) and began construction a year later. He only used more than half of the building for the current Milford Movie 9, and he sold the other half to United Church. This church is also located in Dover, and plans to prepare for the expansion of the Milford campus. 

Hermick originally planned to open Halloween, but said that the pandemic delayed the project for about three months. He said that because film production companies were hit, this caused a "chain reaction" to other sectors of the industry, which meant that some companies that produced products for movie theaters also closed.

Hermick said that despite this, the theater opened before the new year, and the contractor Middletown's construction company managed to keep the budget at around $12 million.

When Delaware first saw the impact of the pandemic in March, Hermick maintained a positive attitude and stated that he would not let anything stop him.

Now, almost a year later, he has the same spirit.

He said: "Sometimes you just need to have faith in things." 

When designing a new cinema and choosing its technology, general manager Sven Johnson said that the staff tried to simplify the process from the moment people walked in the door. 

If guests have not yet ordered tickets online at or, they will select and purchase seats in the kiosk in front of the theater.

Then, they can buy popcorn, snacks and drinks, including sodas, which are self-service and can avoid long waiting times. The popcorn station is equipped with a new non-contact butter dispenser, which can dispense butter when a bucket of popcorn is placed under it.

Johnson said many of these changes were planned before the pandemic, but they can also be used to restrict populations and exposure-the two main focuses of COVID-19 prevention. 

To promote social distancing, the system can help guests choose seats, and the system will automatically block two seats on either side of the group. The distance between each row is at least 6 feet. 

If people from different families want to meet in the theater instead of sitting side by side, they can choose to distract themselves. One of the smaller theaters has even been designated as an observation room that can be rented by groups, most likely for birthday parties or other gatherings that reappear after the epidemic subsides.

The theater management department requires everyone to wear a mask and remove the mask only when eating. Hermick said that since the opening, everyone has followed the guidelines. 

Behind the scenes, clean the surface frequently and do everything every night. The air filtration system continuously monitors the carbon dioxide content in the theater to ensure adequate ventilation, which is the focus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent COVID-19.

In addition to safety, the theater also has new technology that can bring a unique experience to the audience.

The first thing people might notice when walking into one of the nine theaters is the "state of the art" lounge chair. The buttons on the inside of the chair provide three heated seat positions and the option of adjusting the headrest.

The latter is part of the Helmick plan, which aims to maximize the viewing experience for guests, because adjusting the headrest allows people to tilt their heads toward the screen, and a typical recliner may make them look up at the ceiling. 

On the right side of the chair is a USB port where people can charge phones or other devices.

Each theater is also equipped with laser projection, which can produce brighter and clearer images than light bulbs, and attenuate slowly. 

Johnson said: "The picture is very clear, it is true." "Very good."

In order to improve the sound quality, the largest theater installed an advanced surround sound system called Dolby Atmos, using up to 70 speakers throughout the room.

Johnson and Hellmick knew this would be Milford’s first cinema in decades, and they agreed that they wanted to create a fun and exciting experience for the residents of this city.

Hermick said: "I hope it will become the hometown theater." 

Johnson said it makes sense to provide this kind of service to the community, because usually people in Milford have to go to Dover or Lewis to watch movies. 

 He said: "I think especially during the COVID period, many people feel stressed and stressed. This is a great way to come out and enjoy a fun, exciting, and safe experience."

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