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Austin-area movie theater punts college football playoffs to the big screen

Austin movie theater punts college football playoffs to the big screen

Cinemark Luxury Loungers
Now this is the way to watch football. Photo courtesy of Cinemark

The Cinemark movie theater chain is hosting an unusual series aimed at college football fans. Cinemark Holdings Inc. has teamed up with ESPN to bring the college football playoffs to the big screen, including at one theater in the Austin area.

A select number of Cinemark theaters will host screenings of three playoff games, as follows:

  • Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington
  • Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens
  • National Championship, the biggest game of all, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The Cinemark 20 and XD theater in Pflugerville is the only local location to catch the games on the big screen.

Cinemark senior VP Justin McDaniel says in a statement that it’ll be a one-of-a-kind viewing experience that will make viewers feel like they are part of the on-field action.

“We are thrilled to offer an incredible opportunity for college football fans to gather and cheer on their teams in our immersive auditoriums with larger-than-life screens and surround sound,” McDaniel says.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, December 31, at 4:30 pm: No. 1 Alabama will square off against No. 4 Cincinnati in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
  • Friday, December 31, at 8:30 pm: No. 2 Michigan will take on No. 3 Georgia at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl.
  • Monday, January 10, at 9 pm: The winners of the two games will go head-to-head for the College Football Playoff National Championship.

All showings will include ESPN’s live pregame studio programming.

The local markets for all four CFP semifinalists will feature theaters providing this unique experience. The full list of markets includes:

  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Los Angeles
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • Colorado Springs
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Atlanta
  • Baton Rouge
  • Baltimore
  • Detroit
  • Jackson, Mississippi
  • Albuquerque
  • Las Vegas
  • New York
  • Rochester
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Oklahoma City
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • El Paso
  • Houston
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle

A $10 concessions package allows attendees to reserve their seat. Fans will score special prizes after each contest, based on the winning team.

For information or to buy tickets, visit Cinemark.com/CFP or hit up the Cinemark mobile app.

Fortunately, these games are not among those that have been canceled due to a COVID-19 surge, specifically, players who’ve contracted COVID-19, which prevented certain teams from having enough players to compete in a game. So far, five bowl games that were to have been played this week have been impacted.

The full schedule of games is listed on NCAA.com.