The Evil Sam Graham
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004
posted February 07, 2005 09:10 PM
SOURCE: Longview News Journal
Second new theater set as part of new shopping center
By JO LEE FERGUSON
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Hollywood Theaters, which owns Movies 9 in Longview, plans to build a stadium-seating theater in a new development at Longview's northeastern edge.
A company representative said no decision has been made as to how Movies 9, on Texas 31 in south Longview, will "interact" with the new theater.
The proposed 14-screen, 46,000-square-foot "Megaplex theater complex" is part of a larger development called Longview Towne Center that Dallas-based Quorum Equities Group plans to build where U.S. 259 meets Loop 281 and Hawkins Parkway. The theater will include 2,400 seats, digital sound and wall-to-wall screens.
Tim Reed, senior vice president of real estate and development for Wallace Theatre Corp., the parent company of Hollywood Theatres, said in a prepared statement that the theater and center projects will be a successful combination.
"We are thrilled to be part of Longview Towne Center. This promises to be an excellent development with a location that is simply fabulous," he said. "Hollywood Theatres will be a welcome addition to the center, and we expect this location to serve all of Longview with state-of-the-art stadium seating and the finest films available."
Quorum and Hollywood Theaters reported that construction on the theater will begin immediately.
Quorum announced its plans for the 240-acre development last year when it requested that the city begin considering annexing the land, right outside the city, in phases. Longview Development Services Director Chuck Ewings said the city has started the annexation process for the first phase requested by Quorum, about 15 acres south of Hawkins Parkway and north of Loop 281. He said 300 feet of the front edge of the property is already in the city limits.
If the annexation process goes as planned, it would be complete March 28, Ewings said.
Quorum has described the total 240-acre development as "mixed-use," with retail businesses and homes.
Quorum said Friday that Longview Towne Center is expected to open in the spring of 2006. The complex will include 450,000 square feet on 65 acres, and Quorum said it will be the largest development of its kind in Longview, featuring retail, specialty stores, restaurants and the theater.
The company said Longview Towne Center is expected to serve more than 275,000 East Texans in a 30-mile radius.
Hollywood Theater's announcement Friday follows word from New Orleans-based Southern Theaters last month that it plans to build a 14-screen stadium seating theater on Hawkins Parkway. The location between North Fourth Street and Airline Road next to Calvary Christian Tabernacle will put the theaters close together.
Ed Sothcott, a spokesman for Quorum and Hollywood, said, "We're building a theater. We're not quite sure about what the competition is going to do. We feel like we have a good location, a good plan and we're going to build a theater."
Longview's Carmike 10 also is converting its 10-theater auditoriums to stadium seating.
Rein Rabakukk, executive director of the Southcentral States' National Association of Theater Owners, said the movement to stadium seating is part of a larger trend.
The first major stadium seating theater was built in Dallas about eight or nine years ago, he said, and since then almost all theaters have been built with stadium or partial-stadium seating.
"I personally don't know of a single theater that hasn't been a stadium-built in the last nine years," Rabakukk said.
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