This is the week of movie theaters closing and opening again. Yesterday, I reported that the AMC Citadel Mall 6 will shut down after the close of business on Sunday. It will reopen after ownership has formally changed hands on Monday. Southeast Cinema Entertainment, a mom-and-pop operation out of Charlotte, has purchased the property. Click here for that post.
The Regal Mount Pleasant Stadium 12 closed its doors on Sunday, April 6. Construction of a new kind of movie venue — or "eat-o-plex" — began on Monday. It's called a Cinebarre and according to company owner Terrell Braly, it's an experience that can't be matched with high-tech home entertainment or Netflix.
He told me that his company is retrofitting the current location, taking one of the movie theaters and turning into a kitchen and food preparation area to serve made-to-order food on par with Applebee's and Bennigan's. There's also a wine and beer bar. And other amenities I can't remember right now.
Theaters will have tables to eat from and plush seating and all the high-tech gadgets. Plus, they don't let kids under 6 into the theater and they don't let kids under 17 in without parents or guardians. He seems to be taking all the steps needed to avoid the irritations of going to the movies: cell phones, texting teens, and so on.
"You'll never have to deal with the middle-school mafia again," Braly said.
The Charleston location is the second such venture in the U.S. The first was in Asheville. Another is slated for Denver. Basically, Braly said, all the cool cities are on the list. He's aiming for a grand opening to be about the third week of June, July 4 at the latest.