11/7/2017 – Renovated movie theater plans to reopen in Lenoir

Posted on: November 7th, 2017 by admin

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November 7, 2017

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By Virginia Annable
(Lenoir) News-Topic

 

Caldwell County will have a movie theater again with the renovation and reopening of the cinema on Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir.

 

The target date for reopening the movie theater, which closed in November 2014, is Dec. 14,  contractor Warren Moody of Blue Ridge Maintenance LLC said.

 

Golden Ticket Cinemas LLC, which owns a theater in the coastal town of Washington, N.C., is operating the theater. Jeremy McMinn, president of Golden Ticket Cinemas, said the first movie planned is the new “Star Wars” movie, “The Last Jedi,” which opens nationwide on Dec. 14.

 

McMinn said he’s excited about the opening.

 

“We were looking for opportunities to open in smaller areas and found out Lenoir is one of the largest cities in the state without a theater,” McMinn said.

 

Golden Ticket intends to show first-run movies in Lenoir, he said.

 

The cinema has two screening rooms that are being completely renovated, Moody said. As of Monday, all the old chairs had been taken out and the carpet removed. There will be 140 electric reclining chairs in each theater and new carpet as well as new curtains, lighting, screens, and speakers. Moody said he expects the carpet to be in and the walls to be painted next week.

 

The lobby and bathrooms are also being renovated, Moody said.

 

McMinn said company officials wanted to renovate instead of building a new theater to draw on nostalgia.

 

“The building, when operating, had uncomfortable seats, cinderblock walls and one speaker … and we think we can turn it around … our goal is when people walk in they’ll say, “Wow!”

 

McMinn said people will be able to reserve seats after the first night. Tickets for the first showing and movies after that will be available to buy at the box office at the theater starting the day after Thanksgiving.

 

Wilbern Realty & Investment, associated with Bernhardt Furniture Co., owns the building and will act as a landlord, said Lowell Ball, general counsel for Bernhardt. The movie theater was previously run by Carmike Carolinas, which leased the building from Wilbern Realty & Investment. It was called the Carmike Westgate Twin theater at the time and had operated since 1974.

 

Carmike chose to close the theater when its lease expired. McMinn said he hopes that never happens with Golden Ticket Cinemas.

 

“Hopefully the people in town will welcome us and we’ll be around a long time. We wont’ be abandoning Lenoir any time soon,” he said.

 

 

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