July 2, 2010
PALM COAST, FL – The growing Epic Theatres chain has opened its latest theater in the Town Center here. Its facade is said to be a modern take on the classic Athens Theatre in DeLand, FL (as it originally appeared and as it looks now, after a 2007 restoration that removed a 1950s-era front makeover). The new megaplex has all-digital projection; six screens are 3-D capable.
Flagler County residents are eager for the cinema opening, said Doug Baxter, president of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. It’s been three years since the county’s only cinema, Picture Show III in the St. Joe Plaza, closed and forced movie viewers to drive 20 to 30 miles to either Ormond Beach or St. Augustine.
“It’s a long way to drive to watch a movie, especially at night for teens and seniors,” Baxter said. “This is nothing like what we had and people have been calling us ever since it was announced and asking when is it opening. This is great news. It’s another step in us becoming a closer county and helping to keep our spending dollars in the county.”
This Daytona Beach News-Journal has more.
June 28, 2010
MERRIFIELD, VA — A new complex is being built to replace the Lee Highway Multiplex with a new location of the Angelika Film Center.
Edens & Avant has begun tearing down the multiplex cinema off of Lee Highway in Merrifield to make way for the first phase of a planned 1.9 million-square-foot mixed-use redevelopment that will replace the theater and parking lots with a new cinema, grocery store, townhouse complex, hotel and office space. Called Mosaic, the $150 million project’s retail portion is two-thirds leased by companies including Target, Mom’s Organic Market and Angelika Film Center.
Read more in the Washington Business Journal.
June 25, 2010
BAKERSFIELD, CA — Surrounded by vacant stores in a virtually abandoned mall in the northern part of the city, the Regal UA East Hills Mall Cinema 10 be closed by the end of the month.
UA employees declined to answer questions Friday, but Bakersfield’s Edwards Cinema manager Herman Mil confirmed the sister theater’s closure, saying the last day of operation would be June 27. Mil said he was not authorized to say more, referring questions to the district office in Fresno. Calls there were referred to Regal’s Tennessee headquarters, closed when the news surfaced. East Hills Mall manager Anne Lynch did not return calls Friday.
The movie complex is the last anchor store in the beleaguered mall, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2009. But the closure of the theater may not be all bad for the mall’s future.
There is more here.
June 24, 2010
GAUTIER, MS — After a brief closure for a thorough refurbishment, the former Ritz Theatre in the Singing River Mall has re-opened under new management as the Gulf Coast Cinema 5.
Carpet in the lobby was removed and replaced with tile. New carpeting was installed throughout the 1,000-seat theater.
“We shampooed all the seats until we get some new seats,” he said.
The full story is here.
June 23, 2010
CHATHAM, NY — Closed since its owner, Anthony Quirino, died in January, the 1926 Crandell Theater will reopen and be operated by the Chatham Film Club, a not-for-profit group. The group was mentored by Mr. Quirino. Two local restauranteurs acquired the theater and then gave the the theater to the film club.
See, the Chatham Film Club was supposed to take over the Crandell. Quirino had planned for years to sell the theater to the group, which last year launched a fundraising campaign for the purchase and a subsequent renovation. Ready to retire, Quirino was even teaching the club’s members about the theater business — and about all those Crandell quirks and crannies.
“When he died suddenly, we were not yet at the point where we had negotiated a purchase agreement with him,” said Sandi Knakal, president of the club, which runs an annual film festival at the Crandell. “We were in limbo at that point.”
Say goodbye to the limbo: The film club is hoping to open the 530-seat theater on July 9.
Read the full story in the Times Union.
BIRMINGHAM, AL — Closed since 2006, the former Regal Festival Stadium 18 (the article says it was the Regal Festival 12), located in Birmingham’s Crestwood area, will reopen in early August after remodeling. It will be the second theater operated by Greenville-based Naos Entertainment and will now be known as The Edge cinemas.
Property owners, city officials and neighborhood leaders say the new theater can reinvigorate a commercial district that has seen more going out of business sales than grand opening parties in recent years. The shopping center is off Crestwood Boulevard and includes Home Depot and Burlington Coat Factory.
The only movie theater currently in the city is off U.S. 280. The other closest theaters are in Vestavia Hills, Hoover and Trussville.
There is more in AL.com.
June 22, 2010
BURIEN, WA — It has been four decades since there was an operating cinema in this town, south of Seattle, but on June 19, Dan House will open the Tin Theater in a former tin shop next to his restaurant. The forty-two seat theater will screen an eclectic selection of films and cocktail service will be available.
Other residents of Burien have the same problem. “I didn’t start with a business plan in mind; I just thought people wanted it.”
House said that the idea of building a movie theater next to his restaurant has been in the back of his mind ever since he moved into the building, formerly home to the Hi-Line Tin Shop, in 2004.
The longest running business in Burien at the time, the tin shop featured a metal storage area that House thought would be “a great space for a theater.”
There is more in the Highline Times.
June 3, 2010
DALLAS, TX — AMC will not be renewing its lease on the The Grand 24 which is said to have been the country’s first megaplex when it opened in 1995. The propety’s owner hopes to sign a new agreement with another operator.
Defined as any theater with 14 or more screens, the megaplex represented theater exhibitors applying the “big box store” strategy to movies, hoping to dominate a market by showing almost all the current films on several screens in one location. Besides convenience, megaplexes introduced such innovations as stadium seating and a digital picture that arguably improved movie-watching. Critics, however, said the supersizing also fed Hollywood’s taste for purely commercial blockbusters. Also, almost all of the big chains — but not AMC — eventually went bankrupt because of the massive construction costs.
The boom also gave birth in 1997 to Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE: EPR), a Kansas City-based real estate investment trust that former AMC CEO Peter Brown helped form to develop and own the massive buildings. EPT now owns 96 megaplexes for several theater operators.
The full story is in the Kansas City Business Journal.
WARNER ROBINS, GA — The Georgia Theatre Company opened the Houston Lakes Stadium Cinemas on May 27. Currently offering ten screens, the theater has the potential to be expanded to twenty.
The 2000-seat, 30,000-square-foot theater is designed to allow future expansion for four more screens, according to a news release from the Georgia Theatre Co.
“This is the first theater to be unveiled this year in the state, an impressive statistic,” Aubrey Stone, president of Georgia Theatre Co., said in the release. “We are proud to offer the very latest in theater technology to make the movie-going experience in Warner Robins and the entire area more comfortable and exciting than ever before.”
Read the full story at Macon.com.
May 27, 2010
FREDERICKSBURG, VA — Opened on May 7, the new twelve-screen Muvico Village 12 in the Spotsylvania Towne Center features digital projection, 3-D capability, all stadium seating, deluxe VIP seating, cocktail service for those of age, and a bowling center with sixteen lanes called Splitsville. There is a story here.
However, a mural painted above the theater’s Civil War-themed outdoor bar area has angered some patrons because it includes the a partial image of a Confederate flag. The flag will be painted over. Stories here andhere.