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IF YOU GO

ē What: Silverspot Cinema
ē Where: Itís located at The Mercato in North Naples, U.S. 41 and Immokalee Road, above AZN restaurant
ē More information: 592-0300 or silverspot.net

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The Silverspot Cinema opened in Mercato in North Naples in 2009 and has since changed the moviegoing habits of many Neapolitans. When the concept was first announced, it was hard to imagine. An upscale luxury movie theater? What did that mean?

Quite a bit, it turns out.

If youíre like me, I used to find going to the movies a generally unpleasant activity. The theater is usually freezing cold, the floors are sticky, the seats are uncomfortable and no matter where I sit, someone always sits in front of me blocking my view.

It got to the point I would only go if it was a movie that had to be seen on the big screen in order to be appreciate such as ďLord of the Rings,Ē or anything in 3D. Now I wonít go to a movie unless itís showing at Silverspot and almost everyone I know feels the same.

Silverspot solves all those common theater problems, plus offers things I didnít even know I needed but now I canít live without. The leather seats are wide and very comfortable (with big holders for drinks or food), the theatre is impeccably clean and the temperature is normal.

You can bring to your seat the wine, beer and cocktails you purchase in the Silverspot bar, plus any food from the extensive bar menu including gourmet sandwiches, pizzas, mini-burgers, even quesadillas.

But the most convenient thing is being able to choose my seat in advance. When you buy your tickets online at silverspot.net or at the kiosks in front of the theater, you get to select your seats (like you do at a concert showing the layout of the theatre). If seats I like arenít available, I simply pick another time or another movie.

I donít have to arrive early in order to get an aisle seat for my long-legged husband, or get stuck in the front row. You can even go with a big group and make sure you all sit together.

The 11 theaters range in size from 90 to 200 seats each and offer first-run movies, 3D, foreign films and opera and ballet performances recorded around the world.

There is a full-service restaurant on site or a comfortable bar to meet friends before or after a movie. The dinner and a movie special features dinner plus a glass of wine or beer, popcorn and a movie ticket for a total of $36.

Having done it both ways I recommend seeing the movie first then having dinner so youíre not rushing through your meal to get to the movie. Plus it gives you something to talk about during dinner later.

Silverspot Cinema is located at the eastern end of Mercato on the second level. There is a large parking garage behind the building with direct access to the theater.

Silverspot is owned by a Venezuelan company called Cines Unidos. The Naples location was its first in the U. S. The company is building another in Bethesda, Md., and one in downtown Miami.

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