The Celebrity Theater, which underwent a $3 million upgrade a year ago, is adding two extra-large screens.
The screens are roughly about 60 feet wide and 30 feet tall, said Roger Black, project manager for the Morrison Companies, which owns the theater at 15365 George O’Neal Road. They will be part of an expansion that will cost at least $1.8 million and add more than 16,000 square feet to the theater. The project also will add restrooms and drink stations to the more than 23,000-square-foot theater.
Once the work is done, Celebrity Theater will have 10 screens. The expansion will lead to some additional hiring, although exact numbers aren't known.
The expansion is expected to be completed around Thanksgiving, so the screens can be available for the busy holiday movie season. But Black said a hard opening date won’t be known until the end of September, when hopefully the roof will be put on the addition. "It's kind of an issue right now with it raining every day," he said.
The Celebrity Theater, which opened in 1993, underwent a major renovation last year. The work involved installing reclining seats, renovating the bathrooms, adding new concessions and building a small bar that sells beer, wine and daiquiris. The current expansion follows up on this work, Black said. “These reclining seats take up a lot more room than other seats, so we needed more capacity,” he said.
At the time of the renovation, Black said Celebrity was considering expanding the facility to make it more of a family entertainment venue, with a bowling alley, laser tag, obstacle course and private party rooms. Those plans are still in the works, but no date has been set. “That’s going to be our next phase,” Black said.
Last month, the Morrison Companies bought a 2.9-acre tract next to the Celebrity Theater for $900,000. The company had said the land will be used for future parking spaces and an outparcel may be developed.