...of North Point Parkway
The former PARISIAN store at North Point Mall in Alpharetta will soon be demolished and replaced with an AMC Theatres. Kansas City-based AMC Theatres currently operates a the14-screen Mansell Crossing on North Point Parkway but it will likely be closed when the new theater opens. I say likely, as no definitive answer was available but my guess would be that the older theater closes ahead of the new opening.
AMC says their new theatre will feature luxury seating, a "Marketplace" conession area and 100% digital projection. This "Marketplace" concession model is also being installed at AMC Phipps Plaza 14 in Buckhead. AMC is contemplating the addition of MacGuffin's bar and possibly an IMAX theater as well. Again I say contemplating, but I think both of these amenities will be instituted at the new theater.
Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group purchased AMC last month for $2.6 billion and said at the time is was dedicating $500 million to making the company bigger not only domestically, but in the global market as well. At the time of the purchase, AMC was recognized as the second largest theater chain in North America with over 5,300 screens. The purchase is the largest Chinese takeover of an American company to date.
This won't be the first time AMC has replaced a mall anchor store. AMC North DeKalb Mall 16 replaced a shuttered Phar-Mor store in the early 90s. Unlike the complete demolition and new construction that will occur at North Point, the existing structure at North DeKalb was used for the AMC Theatres. To this day, mall patrons can see the former loading dock bays from the Phar-Mor days.
AMC also operates IMAX screens at Stoncecrest 16, Southlake 24, and Forsyth 12. Regal Cinemas has IMAX locations at Mall of Georgia, Atlantic Station 16 and Augusta Exchange 20. Fernbank Museum of Natural History also features an IMAX screen.
AMC opened their 12-theatre Avenue Forsyth location spring 2008, and was in talks to open in
Prospect Park Avalon but apparently Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group will open instead. Avalon is being developed by North American Properties, the managers of Atlantic Station, already home to a Regal Cinemas location. As a former Regal Cinemas employee, I try and stay up on the goings-on of the company. Sources tell me it's not yet been decided whether Regal's current 8 theaters on North Point Parkway will stay open after the new Avalon location opens but if it does, it will likely be rebranded into something akin to the Tara theater on Cheshire Bridge Road, catering to small and / or artsy films that most larger theaters would not show.
General Growth, owner of North Point Mall, as well as Cumberland Mall in Cobb county and Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, has been creative (and fortunate) in being able to fill large anchor size spaces with new tenants. At Cumberland, Costco replaced a shuttered JCPenney in 2006 and a
Davison's Macy's was demolished in 2006 to create a "lifestyle center area" where new restaurants and retailers were added. At Perimeter Mall, a shuttered JCPenney was demolished in 2005 and replaced with a Dillard's. Also at Perimeter, the former Davison's store that became Bloomingdale's in 2003, is to become a new Von Maur late this fall.
North Point saw the closure of three anchor stores within four years. Lord & Taylor exited the Atlanta market in 2005 and left large vacancies at a number of metro malls. In North Point Mall, the space was replaced with Belk in the fall of 2007, but by the fall of 2009, it too, had closed. Von Maur opened in place of Belk this past fall.
Where is your favorite theater to catch a film? What part of town is underserved when it comes to theaters? What is the most you will spend to watch a film in a theater? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.