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"Dine-In" Theater planned for Snellville
Columbus, Georgia-based Carmike Cinemas is (again) planning a new movie theater in Snellville. Originally announced in March 2013 as a thirteen screen movie theater, the project was "nixed" by November of the same year.
Now, documents obtained by ToNeTo Atlanta reveal plans are again underway to bring a new theater to the area. The new eleven screen "Ovation" cinema will offer a "Dine-In" experience. The new theater with have wait staff and feature luxury seating that will allow patrons to order from touch screen menus before or during the movie. The roughly 54,000 square foot theater will be built to the left of Hobby Lobby in the 1200 block of Scenic Highway at Snellville Exchange.
Carmike has been enhancing existing theaters and opening new ones that offer more food and beverage options in an effort to attract more moviegoers. Birmingham, Alabama-based Cobb Theatres and their CineBistro concept are seen by many in the industry as the benchmark operation in the "Dine-In" segment. CineBistro has seven locations including one in Atlanta at TOWN Brookhaven, and an eighth slated to open this summer in Cary, North Carolina.
A twelve screen theater that Carmike opened in 1999 in Athens closed last August. After remaining closed for months, work began earlier this year to convert the older theater to the company's new "Ovation" banner. Slated to open later this summer, the theater was completely gutted and rebuilt to include a higher quality movie experience as well as enhanced food and drink options. To allow for the enhancements and dine-in service, each auditorium became slightly smaller but the number of theaters will reportedly stay the same.
It's worth noting that Knoxville, Tennessee-based Regal Entertainment Group also operates in the area. About four miles from the new Carmike Cinemas, Regal operates their Regal Snellville Oaks 14 on East Main Street. Given its proximity to the upcoming theater, it's likely that they will be in a "split market" where they must share blockbuster films. Essentially, this policy prevents one theater from receiving every blockbuster film and instead sharing them on a rotation. For example, if Carmike were to get the latest Avengers film, perhaps Regal would receive the next Marvel film.
The new Snellville theater will likely lead to the eventual closure of nearby Carmike 12 in Presidential Markets shopping center. Representatives from both The Shopping Center Group, (who handles Presidential Markets leasing on behalf of owner Equity One) and Carmike Cinemas, deny closure is imminent, but industry sources believe it is likely. The most probable outcome would be one in which Carmike continues to operate the Presidential Markets theater but with "second run" films at reduced prices, if both theaters are open at the same time. When the lease expires at Presidential Markets, which reportedly will happen in less than three years, it's likely that will mark the end of Carmike at Presidential Markets unless a replacement tenant is found sooner to take over the lease.
Interestingly, AMC Theaters continues to operate two theaters off North Point Parkway in Alpharetta. One, AMC Mansell Crossing 14, operates in a stand alone building on North Point Parkway. The second, AMC North Point Mall 12, was added in 2013 and operates on mall property that was once the Parisian department store. With the closure of Regal's 8 screen theater across the street from the mall, AMC basically controls the market.
Current projections have Carmike Snellville "Ovation" 11 opening sometime in the first half of 2016.
In addition to the Carmike Cinemas, a 55,000 square foot Hobby Lobby is already open in Snellville Exchange. Currently under construction in the center are a 15,000 square foot La-Z-Boy store as well as a 52,000 square foot Gander Mountain sports and outdoors store.