Theatre Chains Square Off In St. Charles County, Mo.

posted by Chuck1231 on July 6, 2004 at 6:35 pm

The following was sent in by Charles Van Bibber:

“Don’t know if this is newsworthy in Cinema Treasures but it seems there is a battle brewing in the St. Charles County area of St. Louis with two new 14-screen multiplexes planned by rival companies.

Wehrenberg announced that they are planning a 14-screen multiplex at Dardenne Prairie, called Dardenne Crossroads located on the prime location at Highway 40 and Highway N. This was announced a week after Great Escape Theatres announced their 14-screen complex at WingHaven.

This will put 28 screens in the St. Charles county area that has been growning at a tremendous rate. The economic developer for St. Charles country says “I just don’t know if the area can support that many movies screens.” Both theaters are scheduled to open next year.

The Dardenne site will also house a new Shop N Save Supermarket and Target has agreed to a location at the site. The two new proposed cinema sites are part of a spree in the St. Louis area market with Regal opening the new Regal 18 at the new Mills Mall.

AMC also announced building a multiplex at the Chesterfield Mall and Wehrenberg already has construction in progress on their new 14-screen multiplex in Chesterfield Valley. All these other than Regal’s 18-plex are along Highway 40 from St. Louis County into St. Charles Co."

Comments (5)

JodarMovieFan
JodarMovieFan on July 7, 2004 at 6:15 am

St Louis isn’t that small of a city is it? Besides, if the two multiplexes aren’t that close to each other, I’d think the respective companies have done enough of an economic survey to determine if there is enough demand, without hurting each other’s business.

Its nice to have choices really. I prefer the moviehouses that have the best picture (DLP, 70mm, or largest screen) and sound (Digital THX) even if it means I have to travel a bit (less than 50 miles).

UAGirl
UAGirl on July 8, 2004 at 4:36 am

Pardon me if I am reading this incorrectly but…42 new screens?
According to Fandango there are already 171 screens in that area. Last time I was in St. Louis the market was a bit saturated. Hopefully AMC will close down some of their lesser performing theatres. I noticed that they still have a few rare 7 plexes holding on for life.

BTW, if the market goes sour and these cinema factories of mass consumption close then what could they be used for? Not much because of their particular designs…. I have seen several mega plex cut in have and divided up into store but that looks really ugly and is killer on the HVAC. The few mom and pop plex that I have seen cut up did ok as other thnigs simply because they didn’t go to stadium seating. ( Then again that’s why they closed now isn’t it kids?) :/

sigh

Why can’t these chains wise up and stop building? Just assess what you’ve got, close what is draining from your company and and revamp what is paying your bills and payroll.

rivest266
rivest266 on July 8, 2004 at 12:28 pm

Same thing here in Montreal (apx 425 screens now.)
Planned or under construction
Mega-Plex Guzzo Marche Central 18
Gigantus Laval 20
Cineplex Galaxy Carrefour Brossard 16
these 3 will open in 2005

for 2007? Complexe Spectrum 14 in Downtown Montreal.

klebrun
klebrun on July 8, 2004 at 6:28 pm

You bring up a good point about AMC, Charles. They have done the same thing here in the Kansas City area. Just a few years ago, we had a megaplex boom out here. AMC and Dickinson have both closed some of their smaller theaters out here. We had two brand new megaplexes competing right across the street from each other back in the early to mid 1990’s. Ironically, they both ended up closing. They both lost out to two AMC megalplexes just a few miles away. One is now a health club and the other was torn down to just the frame and two walls and totally rebuilt to house part of the IRS complex out here. It’s really strange to see all of these millions of dollars thrown around like that, like it’s a big game of theateropoly.

muviebuf
muviebuf on July 9, 2004 at 8:28 am

Everybody speaks about multiplexes in terms of “more choices”. The reality today is that does not mean more choice of titles but merely more choice of starting times. Anytime you have competing plexes all you have is the same movies on that many more multiple screens.

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