December 2, 2016
From the Laguna Beach Indy: Signs of life are visible within Laguna Beach’s only movie theater, a landmark building that closed 16 months ago and is expected to reopen shortly. There is new carpet in the lobby and a giant popcorn maker gleaming just inside the front doors. Painters are dodging ladders and caution tape, working to meet the slated opening date.
Theater operator Vintage Cinema will show first-run movies on two screens, with an opening date target of Dec. 16, Chris Leonard, an attorney for theater owner Leslie Blumberg, said in an email.
November 29, 2016
From the Times-Tribune: The Iron Horse Movie Bistro won’t be open in time for the new “Star Wars” release Dec. 16, but the return of the downtown Scranton movie theater shouldn’t be too far away.
Phoenix Theatres Entertainment expects to reopen the former Marquee Cinemas 8 in the first quarter of 2017, said Joe Gibbons, a spokesman for Marketplace at Steamtown developer John Basalyga.
The timeline for the rebirth of the eight-theater complex into a luxury establishment with bistro-style food, alcohol and squishy red leather recliners moved back a few times from the original target of the first half of 2016 amid engineering and millwork manufacturing delays.
Carl Scartelli, superintendent for Eco Trade Construction overseeing the $4 million renovation, expected the remodeling work to wrap up in the second week of December.
Mr. Scartelli led The Times-Tribune on a brief tour of the building amid a flurry of activity as roughly 20 contractors painted walls, installed carpeting and tiles, worked on finishing ceilings and continued adding curtains and speakers.
Keph Construction crews, who specialize in movie theater projects all over the country, worked on setting up Theater 1, which Project Manager Charlie Harrison described as the facility’s prime auditorium with 22 speakers.
“This would be where their mega-blockbusters play,” Mr. Harrison said. “You’re going to have a much better experience with the surround sound. They’ll have upgraded seating. These are love seats. If you’re on a date, you can raise the arm rest and scoot your honey right next to you. The silver screen is a 3-D screen. Everything is upgraded. They’re making the theater experience like a ride in a theme park.”
Once construction is done, Phoenix Theatres will still need to set up the kitchen, hire staff and train the workers, which is why Mr. Gibbons said the opening of the theaters at the intersection of Penn and Lackawanna avenues will come early next year.
“This is exciting,” Mr. Gibbons said. “We see this as a corner that all of a sudden is going to have an incredible amount of life.”
Mr. Gibbons spoke about the movie complex in the context of Delta Medix and Luzerne County Community College occupying space in the mall, the planned opening of the Scranton Public Market in the near future and more retailers moving in.
Mr. Gibbons highlighted the recent return of eclectic gift boutique La Ti Da to the mall, along with Pink Shades by Kimberly, a women’s clothing store targeting 18- to 35-year-olds, scheduled to open Thursday.
November 21, 2016
From the Tampa Bay Times: The new Xscape Riverview 14 screened its first film Wednesday night and fully-opened to moviegoers this weekend.
The theater, located at 6135 Valleydale Drive just off of Progress Village Boulevard, officially opened on Friday, staging a ribbon cutting with the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce.
The movieplex features floor-to-ceiling, 60-foot wide screens similar to IMAX.
The auditoriums are equipped with Dolby Atmos, a 360-degree immersive surround sound system that can project noise from behind the viewer and emit bass frequencies that you feel in your seat.
Viewing movies in these two auditoriums will only cost $1 extra.
Xscape will be mostly a first-run cinema, focusing on major studio films rather than art-house or independent movies.
But in an unusual move, it plans to have a curfew of 9 p.m. for under 17’s, so that grownups can see movies without the chatter of children and excited kicks on the back of their seats.
In a sign of how fast it is growing, Xscape is not the only cinema set to open in Riverview this year.
Goodrich Quality Theaters has constructed a 14-screen multiplex on Gibsonton Drive that is scheduled to open by Christmas, said Martin Betz, Goodrich chief operating officer.
It too has recliner seats. Its IMAX equivalent is called Giant Digital Experience and features an 80-foot wide screen.
By late January, the cinema will be complimented by a gastro-pub and restaurant.
Xscape vice president of operations Scott Bagwell said he expects that his competitor will draw customers from the southern part of Riverview.
Xscape patrons will likely come from north of the Alafia River and even from Brandon, now that there is an alternative to the traffic and crowds of the nearest multiplex in Regency Square, he said.
November 1, 2016
From KKCO TV-11: Renovations are underway at a closed movie theater in Grand Junction.
The movie theater company Picture Show is moving into the former Carmike Cinemas and opening a new budget friendly movie theater.
“I think it’s really exciting, it gives more of a variety of places we can go,” said Lux Miller, a Grand Valley movie lover.
“It’s great to have other options, and something that will hopefully make these a little more competitive on the other side,” said Grand Junction resident Jeff Green.
Picture Show bought the 23-year-old building, and the owners are working hard on upgrades.
“I think that Carmike needed to improve,” said the new owner, Jeff Stedman.
It’s the inside where picture show is adding all new equipment and upgrades like reclining seats, hoping to make the movie viewing experience more comfortable.
“We took a facility that was not being used, and would have been closed otherwise and invested $2 million in the community,” said Stedman. “We’re going to employ 25-30 people and we’re going to have value pricing for our customers.”
October 27, 2016
From dmagazine.com: If recent trends in new theater openings in North Texas can tell us anything, it may be that people really enjoy eating and drinking while watching a movie, simplifying the classic “dinner and a movie” combination. We’ve also seen the rise of zero tolerance policies for cell phones, extra-cinematic programming, and the promise of “luxury” seating as theater attendance continues to decline.
A more traditional experience hasn’t completely lost its sway with moviegoers, however. It’s too early to call it a comeback, but a new drive-in theater opening Friday in Lewisville could qualify as at least a tentative revival of a throwback American night out.
It’s the third such venture from Coyote Drive-In Theaters and Canteen, which opened its first outpost in Fort Worth in 2013 and expanded to Leeds, Alabama earlier this year. (The two Coyotes join the Galaxy Drive-In in Ennis and the Brazos in Granbury on North Texas’ lineup of drive-in theaters.)
The theater, at 1901 Midway Rd. off the 121 Tollway, will have five screens digitally projecting double features of first-run movies seven nights a week, according to a press release. Most of the screens — there are plans for a sixth — stand about 55 feet tall and 75 feet wide. The complex can fit about 1,500 cars.
There are, of course, plenty of modern amenities added to this nostalgia trip. Audiences in the drive-in heyday of the ’50s never knew the unique, late capitalism joys of “Pepsi Spire 5.0 drink systems,” for example. Per the press release from Coyote:
In the center of the grounds stands a Canteen – a restaurant and bar pavilion with indoor and outdoor covered seating for 300 guests, fitted with ten high-definition big-screen TVs – perfect for football, baseball and soccer game days.
Within the Canteen area, patrons can enjoy hand-crafted pizza, burgers, wings and tenders from the full-service kitchen in one hand and the traditional concessions like giant pretzels, churros, popcorn, candy in the other. Coyote Drive-In comes complete with a Beer & Wine bar, featuring many craft beer favorites and frozen wineritas. Coyote also prepares Sno-Cones and Cotton Candy on site and has a Merchandise Shop. And to top it off, the theater is one of the first in Texas to carry Pepsi Spire 5.0 drink systems, a state-of-the-art refreshment dispenser with over one hundred Pepsi flavor combinations to choose from.
Some people will try to tell you America used to be greater than it is now, but in what other era could you choose from 100 Pepsi flavor combinations?
Tickets to the Coyote Drive-In are $7 for adults, $5 for kids between the ages of 5 and 11, and free for children younger than 4. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and showtimes begin just after sunset.
October 26, 2016
From The Connecticut Post: The Bijou Theatre has not seen its final curtain call after all.
In July, Christine Brown, president of the nonprofit that operated the theater, said it would close its doors on Aug. 7 because it didn’t work financially.
“We’re really, really proud of what we’ve accomplished, but the economics have made it impossible for us to keep going,” Brown said at the time.
But, according to developer Phil Kuchma, whose company owns the building, no one has taken any final bows. “It’s just under a new tenant,” he said.
Kuchma said he never planned to close the theater, but potential visitors might have had a hard time learning this. Though the Bijou has a new website and Facebook page, the original site, the thebijoutheatre.com, still comes up in web searches and as of Monday featured a farewell message.
“The Bijou Theatre thanks the people of Bridgeport, the local theater community and all of its past patrons for the privilege of serving them,” the message states.
The theater’s former Facebook page comes up as unavailable.
October 6, 2016
From the New York Post: New Yorkers who get their first look at — and taste of — the city’s first iPic cinema complex at the South Street Seaport on Friday might be awed if they’ve never been to one of iPic Entertainment’s 14 other destinations around the US.
Realty Check got a sneak peek at iPic in the landmark Fulton Market Building, which boasts eight screens and 501 seats. It opens to the public on Oct. 7 with showings of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” “The Birth of a Nation” and the much-anticipated “The Girl on the Train.”
Plush, reclining seats similar to those in a first-class airline cabin and food prepared by an award-winning chef that’s served as you watch a film, are far more upscale than even the fanciest of other cinemas in New York.
Via iPic.com and a dedicated app, customers can easily book showings — not only the movie and time but also exactly which seats. There are two seating options, Premium and Premium Plus. The former includes regular or chaise lounge seats; customers can bring food from an iPic Express counter to the seats.
Premium Plus means reclining leather seats built into pods with pillows, blankets and “unlimited free popcorn.” They’re arrayed in pairs separated by aisles, so customers can have pre-ordered meals and cocktails delivered to seats by “Ninja” servers who don’t block anyone’s view of the screen.
Membership programs both free and paid entitle users to various discounts, priority reservations and other benefits. Seats cost $14 to $29 depending on which level of service is chosen, as well as the day and time; weekends are more expensive.
October 5, 2016
From the Bristol Herald Courier:
Local residents will soon be able to enjoy movies under the stars once again, courtesy of the historic Moonlite Drive-in.
After seeing it idle for three years, new owner Kyle Blevins is breathing life back into the Moonlite, which is off Lee Highway between Abingdon and Bristol.
Blevins, a UPS driver from Bristol, Tennessee, went to the Moonlite for more than 40 years before it closed. He said he’s always wanted to own the theater and recently he came to an agreement with William Booker, who has been trying to sell the property. Under the agreement, Blevins said he is owner and president while Booker remains a co-owner.
“I never dreamed that I would be able to do it,” Blevins said.
He declined to give the cost of the sale. In March 2015, the asking price was $1.75 million.
The drive-in opened in 1949 and closed in 2013 after many studios made the switch to digital, making many new release movies incompatible with the old projector.
The Moonlite was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, and is one of only three drive-ins in the nation to be there, according to Blevins.
Its long history is one of the things that makes Blevins happy to revive it. He plans to restore the property to its original 1950s style.
“It’s not just coming to watch a movie. You’re going to be transformed into a different time,” said Blevins, who added that he also plans to alter the decor to fully immerse customers in the movie experience.
The upcoming changes were brought to the attention of many who pass by when the number 16 showed up Sept. 15 on the marquee and the Facebook page. He wanted to spark interest so he decided to conduct a countdown until his announcement of the reopening today.
But even he admits he was shocked at the attention he got.
The real motivation to reopening is the way people in the community still talk about it, Blevins said.
“It’s got a lot of history that comes from everybody in the community. A lot of people have a story about it,” he said.
Blevins hopes to get support from the community, both in preparing for the reopening and keeping the theater open. Abingdon-based CPA firm Hicok, Fern & Company has agreed to assist Blevins in overseeing financial contributions and expenditures.
“The needs are extensive and community involvement is going to be crucial to meeting those needs,” he said in a news release.
Blevins has scheduled a community work day for Saturday, Oct. 8, beginning at 8 a.m. He invites anyone who’s willing to help with the start of the renovation.
His plan is to try to get the drive-in ready for at least one show around the middle of October, but there’s a lot to be done before that can happen. An official reopening is planned for next spring.
Blevins is ready to do what it takes to get the drive-in up and running, but notes that it isn’t just for himself or his family.
“It doesn’t belong to me,” he said. “It belongs to the community. It belongs to everybody. I just happen to be lucky enough to be able to do it.”
October 2, 2016
From The News & Observer: Ovation Cinema Grill 9, a long-awaited movie theater off the N.C. 55 Bypass, is set to open for preview days starting Wednesday, Oct. 5, Carmike Cinemas announced Thursday.
The nine-screen Carmike Cinemas movie theater will open at 320 Grand Hill Place in the northeastern portion of the Holly Springs Towne Center. The grand opening day showing first-run features will be Thursday, Oct. 13.
The preview days, which are Wednesday, Oct. 5, through Tuesday, Oct. 11, will feature recently released films, including “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “The Conjuring 2” and “Star Trek: Beyond.” The movies on these days are $3 with proceeds benefiting local schools, the Holly Springs Food Cupboard and Meg’s Smile Foundation, a nonprofit that provides special days out or gifts to North Carolina children affected by serious illnesses.
The venue has full-service dining, where moviegoers can order food and drinks, such as grilled shrimp tacos and a barbeque chicken flatbread, while seated in electric, luxury recliners that allow them to request service at their seats. The theater has an outdoor patio, as well as a cocktail lounge in the lobby with a full service bar. The bar will serve craft beers from three Triangle breweries: Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, Aviator Brewing Company in Fuquay-Varina and Bull City Ciderworks in Durham.
“We are pleased to offer this exciting cinema dining experience in Holly Springs, said David Passman, president and CEO of Carmike Cinemas, in a news release. “The Holly Springs location is our first cinema dining facility built from the ground up, and we are thrilled to give the community a new way to experience the movies.”
This new theater will serve more than just Holly Springs, but the large swath of southwestern Wake County. The closest theaters are in nearby Cary, Morrisville and Apex, but the closest two theaters – Regal Beaver Creek Stadium 12 in Apex and CineBistro in Cary – are each 15 minutes away from the new site.
This is the third theater to open in western Wake County that has full-service dining. In addition to CineBistro in Cary’s Waverly Place, Frank Theatres opened a CineBowl & Grille in Parkside Town Commons, a mixed-use development on N.C. 55 near N.C. 540.
The Holly Springs theater is part of the second phase of development of Holly Springs Towne Center. Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group is the owner and developer of the project, which began construction in 2012.
Since then, about 40 restaurants and stores, including Target, Michaels and Marshalls, have opened, and the shopping center continues to grow.
“It’s kind of put Holly Springs on the map,” said Moss Withers, chairman of the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Construction of the second phase of the project, which includes more spaces for shops and restaurants, began last summer. Mattress Firm, Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW, Pure Barre, Kirkland’s, The Joint Chiropractic and Freddy’s Steakburgers already have opened, said Joseph Hughes, an associate asset manager with Kite Realty Group.
Several other businesses will open later this year. Those tenants are Blaze Pizza, Mi Cancun Mexican restaurant and a nail salon. Hughes said Texas Roadhouse recently signed a lease and would open next year.
“There should be more announcements coming soon,” he said.
Over the years, the town has sought to offer enough amenities that residents won’t have to leave for shopping or entertainment, and a movie theater is another step toward meeting that goal, Withers said.
But Withers added there aren’t many big businesses in town, meaning that residents still have to go to Cary, Raleigh or Research Triangle Park for work.
“We’ve got the retail now, which is great, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “Little steps like this movie theater are good steps in having the amenities and conveniences to bring businesses to the market.”
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/southwest-wake-news/article104861871.html#storylink=cpy
September 29, 2016
From Curbed Miami: The Landmark at Merrick Park, a 25,000-square-foot luxury movie theater, will open at the Shops at Merrick Park in December, the chain announced today, according to the Miami Herald.
It will be on the third floor next to Neiman Marcus, with leather chairs, stadium seating, laser projection, a full bar and lounge, and, most importantly, online reserved seating.
The Landmark project was approved by the Coral Gables City Commission after agreeing not to compete with the Coral Gables Art Cinema for movies. Both theaters are located on city-owned land and will be able to show the same films. Landmark will also make a $10,000 donation to the non-profit Gables Cinema for five years, starting in December. In today’s world of excellent home-viewing options on massive and affordable televisions the question is whether this fills a need with several options already in the area and a couple more in the pipeline.
There’s AMC Sunset Place about three miles to the south and a Cinépolis just over a mile away in Coconut Grove.
And they likely won’t draw folks form the heart of Miami, as there is a theater coming to Brickell City Centre and another opening just over the bridge.