Changes coming to Austin’s art house scene: new theater planned; Landmark exiting

posted by CSWalczak on April 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

AUSTIN, TX — This fall, two major changes will occur that may significantly impact the exhibition of independent and foreign films in Austin. A new four-screen theater with upscale amenities will be opening in the downtown area in December. To be called the Violet Crown Cinema, it is being co-developed by Bill Banowsky, former CEO of Landmark Theatres, and owner of the Magnolia Theater in Dallas. Landmark, which currently operates the Dobie Theatre will not be renewing its lease on that theater when it expires. New operators are being sought for the Dobie.

Serving bar food and craft cocktails, offering free validated parking and showing the latest art, foreign and independent films, the Violet Crown Cinema is being billed as a boutique “cafe cinema” that will “bring the art house movie experience to a level it’s never achieved,” said Bill Banowsky, Violet Crown’s owner and operator.

The Violet Crown will be on the second floor of the AMLI on 2nd apartment building in Austin’s Second Street district, a growing nexus of upscale shopping, dining and downtown living. The planned 8,000- to 10,000-square-foot space will have a full-service bar, concession stands, a lounge that can seat about 100 people and a balcony overlooking Second Street that can accommodate about 50 people.

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