By KEVIN BRADY
It will be a little while longer before the kernels are popping at a new movie theater on Gibsonton Road.
The 80,000-square-foot, 14-screen Goodrich Quality Theaters multiplex at Gibsonton Road and I-75 was due to open in Nov. but permitting issues have pushed opening day to fall 2016.
Construction crews are currently prepping the site for construction of the Goodrich theater. Todd cited “city issues and getting all the permits” as reasons for the delay.
“It’s not going to be close to that (the planned Nov. opening,” said Justin Todd a spokesman for Anthony Properties. The movie house will anchor a 30-acre tract at the southwest corner of I-75 and Gibsonton Drive the company plans to develop. “Hopefully we are going to get started there soon but I would say we are looking at late next summer (2016) for the opening. It will take about nine months once (construction starts).” The company expects to issue a press release once crews break ground on the project.
The state-of-the-art multiplex will feature one large-format auditorium, a bar and grill and theaters featuring recliner seating. The new facility is being developed by Anthony Properties of Dallas, Texas, and Paradigm Design of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the architect.
The theater will feature “GDX” (Giant Digital Experience), Goodrich’s large-format auditorium, with an 80-foot-wide screen and floor-to-ceiling viewing. The new theater will also offer all-digital projection and 3D, as well as:
• Premium sound featuring Dolby Atmos
• All stadium seating
• Bar and grill menu
• Self-serve ticket counters
• Private party and meeting rooms
“We are thrilled that we can build a brand-new theater in Gibsonton in conjunction with a premium retail development,” said Martin Betz, chief operating officer of Goodrich. “Gibsonton is our first location in Florida, and we are proud to be a new member of this community. We are committed to providing our patrons with the very best theater entertainment experience, including our GDX premium large-format screen, Dolby sound systems, luxurious seating and a wide variety of concessions,” added Betz.
Fear not movie fans, those tired of making the trip to Grand Regency in Brandon or Tampa to watch a film will be able to enjoy a flick at Xscape Riverview 14 to be built on 2.1 acres at the intersection of I-75 and Progress Boulevard. Construction is expected to break ground on the 60,000-square-foot theater, with a projected opening in the second quarter of 2016.
In the meantime, there are the outdoor movies at the Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre at 5011 N. U.S. 41. in Ruskin.
Xscape Riverview 14 expects the $15-million project to attract more than 500,000 guests per year and create more than 50 jobs. Ticket prices are expected to be comparable with other local first-run theaters.
“We looked at the market area down there, where the growth was taking place and where the competitors were and felt like there was a hole in the market and it was a good opportunity,” said Chance Ragains, CEO of Xscape Theatres. “We think the whole corridor down there is going to continue to experience growth, and as a retailer you want to get out in front of that and we just think there is a lot of long-term potential there.”
Xscape 14 Riverview will look to serve moviegoers in Riverview, Gibsonton and Apollo Beach as well as Brandon.
“We think we have the perfect location,” Ragains said. “We did our market research, and it just seemed like an underserved area there that did not have a lot of good entertainment options that were convenient. As we started talking to local residents, it was something that we consistently heard that [a movie theater] was one thing that was really lacking around there.”
The Xscape Theatre will feature crystal-clear digital sound and 4K digital projection with bright, immersive 3D technology. The two large-format auditoriums will also feature the Dolby Atmos surround-sound system.
Movies will be presented in 2D and 3D, with all 14 theaters featuring electric reclining leather seats.
Xscape Theatres is an Indiana-based motion picture exhibitor. The company has developed more than 30 theater locations across 12 different states since its founding in 1997.
Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Goodrich operates 273 screens in 29 theaters in Mich., Ind., Ill. and Mo.