Universal Cinema had a star-studded grand opening @CityWalkLA

 Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal, and Acclaimed Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, along with Jordan Peele, Will Packer and Jason Blum, Help Universal CityWalk Inaugurate its All-New State-of-the-Art Universal Cinema

Celebratory Event Invites Movie-Goers to “See Movies Where Movies are Made” as Universal CityWalk Officiates the Grand Opening of Its Multi-Million Dollar Cinema Renovation

USHR//Universal City, California, April 20, 2017 – Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Academy®, Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg; Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jordan Peele (Get Out); Emmy Award-nominated filmmaker Will Packer (Straight Outta Compton); Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning producer Jason Blum (Get Out); and Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood, celebrated the grand opening of Universal CityWalk’s multi-million dollar AMC Theatre renovation to create an all-new state-of-the-art Universal Cinema

With its proximity to the Universal Studios’ production lot and filming locations for many blockbuster movies, these award-winning filmmakers helped call “action” and shine a spotlight on the Universal Cinema as the place to “see movies where movies are made.”

“The new Universal Cinema is a spectacular place to enjoy blockbuster films and we’re thrilled to have such acclaimed filmmakers join us to commemorate the occasion,” said Karen Irwin, President & COO, Universal Studios Hollywood. “As The Entertainment Capital of L.A., we’ve entertained guests for generations, taking them behind-the-scenes of movie-making and placing them in the heart of the action with our incredible attractions, so it’s only fitting that we create the ultimate movie-going experience giving fans access to a movie theatre where they watch films in Hollywood screening rooms the same way filmmakers do.”

Universal Cinema’s top-to-bottom makeover coincides with Universal Studios Hollywood’s ambitious epic transformation to reimagine the world-class entertainment destination.

For film buffs, Universal CityWalk has long been the epicenter for fans seeking an environment that matches the excitement of their favorite blockbuster movies. Delivering modern, high-tech elegance and chic sophistication, the renovation of the split-level movie theatre offers a stylish and inviting place that captures the spirt of the glamourous movie studio—complete with screening room quality theatres and ultra-plush reclining seats.

The Director’s Lounge Cocktail Bar—an all-new upscale and stylish second-level retreat, flanked by the upper level theatres—adds a charismatic new dimension to the space for casual pre- and post- movie-going fun.  Beverages served at the lounge can also be taken into the second level theatres.

Each redesigned theatre has been fully upgraded with the most technologically advanced sight and sound achievements. The Universal Cinema represents the first multiplex in the United States to incorporate Christie laser projection, Christie Vive audio sound system and Dolby ATMOS with recliner seating to deliver maximum-impact movie presentations in 18 auditoriums. The installation of new state-of-the art screens, perforated to enable 360 degree audio, complement the overall enhancements.

The recent upgrade to the IMAX theatre features IMAX’s next-generation 4K laser projection and 12-channel sound systems designed to enhance the entire movie-going experience and provide an audience with sharper, brighter, clearer and more vivid digital images than ever.

A departure from traditional movie concession stands, the completely redesigned AMC Marketplace offers movie-goers a contemporary grab-n-go, self-service experience, featuring a delectable new take on concession favorites, including specialty popcorn, gourmet foods, real fruit smoothies, café style coffees and a Coca-Cola Freestyle self-service touch screen soda fountain featuring 165 different Coca-Cola drink products. 

A box office and guest services concierge is now located inside the venue, with convenient automated box office kiosks situated adjacent to the venue by the “5 Towers” outdoor concert stage. Additionally, movie-goers can enjoy $5 Movie General Parking with the purchase of a movie ticket.

Kurzweil leaves USH, Karen Irvin now President/COO

USHR//​Universal City, CA, October 19, 2016–Universal Studios Hollywood promotes Karen Irwin to President & COO of The Entertainment Capital of L.A., overseeing all business operations for the theme park and adjacent Universal CityWalk, it was announced today by Thomas Williams, Chairman & CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts (UPR). 

Ms. Irwin, who recently served as Executive Vice President, Global Merchandise and Partnership Development for the UPR division, succeeds Larry Kurzweil, a 20-year veteran of the company, who is departing to join a private equity firm specializing in the food industry as an operating partner, and will also concurrently serve as the President & CEO of The Lemonade Restaurant Group, headquartered in Los Angeles.

In making the announcement Mr. Williams said, “Karen is creative, strategic, focused and a true leader and been at the forefront of our incredible growth in Merchandise over the past 10 years. She has a wealth of operational and senior management experience in all facets of our business and was instrumental in all of the development of our incredible Harry Potter offerings. Karen is uniquely qualified for this important role and we look forward to welcoming her to this new chapter in her career.”

Mr. Williams continued, “Larry has been a vital member of the Universal family and he will be missed. Since 1999, he has presided over the theme park’s many award-wining attractions and signature Studio Tour, including the park’s recent revitalization that transformed over 75 percent of the destination, culminating with the highly-anticipated arrival of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  His passion, strategic insight and creative vision were invaluable to our business and we wish him much success in his new venture.”

Karen began her career with Universal Orlando in 1990 as part of the opening team for Universal Studios Florida.  She has served in several leadership and department-head capacities including:  Director of Operations and Director of Support Services for Food and Beverage, Vice President of Merchandise Operations and Vice President of Revenue Operations.  She moved to UPR as Vice President of Partnership Development in 2004, before taking on her current role in 2006.

During her tenure at Universal Parks & Resorts, Karen has served on the Executive Committee for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Boards of Directors for the Rosen School of Hospitality at The University of Central Florida and Valencia Community College.  She has also been President of Universal Orlando Volunteer Board and Chair of the Universal Workplace Giving Campaign.

Karen is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications, and completed an Executive Development Program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.  She has 30 years of management and leadership experience in the hospitality industry.

Karen and her husband Dann will be relocating to Los Angeles, CA, from their current residence in Orlando, Florida.