1,600 seat theatre complex coming

Local moviegoers can expect a state-of-the-art experience when they visit Sarnia’s new theatre next year.

By Barbara Simpson, from The Observer   www.theobserver.ca

Cineplex Entertainment plans to open the eight-screen Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia in the spring of 2013, with a total of 1,600 seats. One of the viewing theatres will be an UltraAVX auditorium. It will feature a wall-to-wall screen, enhanced Dolby digital surround sound, RealD 3D technology and extra-wide, high-back rocker seats.

Moviegoers can also reserve seats in the auditorium in advance.

“Sarnia is one of the largest Canadian cities without a cutting edge movie theatre,” said Mike Langdon, director of communications for Cineplex Entertainment.

“Lambton Mall is a great location for our guests and we think it will contribute to the overall moviegoing experience.”

Currently, only Cineplex theatres in large cities, like Toronto and its surrounding area, are home to UltraAVX screens.

The new 32,000-square-foot theatre is part of a multimillion dollar expansion at Lambton Mall. It will include a 31,000-square-foot Sport Chek. Tbooth Wireless, a cellphone retailer, will also be moving into the mall.

Demolition is well underway at the former Canadian Tire store.

Brad Vessey, general manager of Lambton Mall, said some of the construction will start while demolition is underway. Demolition is expected to wrap up by the end of August.

“We’re hoping to have those tenants open for the early spring of 2013,” Vessey said.

The $16-million redevelopment project includes the purchase of the neighbouring Cineplex theatre, according to Primaris Retail REIT’s first quarter financials. It will close when the new theatre opens.

“At this point, I can’t say what’s going to happen with that land,” Vessey said. “It’s still under negotiations.”

The new theatre and additional retail space is the latest redevelopment project at the mall. A $5-million food court and an H&M clothing store opened late last year.

Vessey said the projects are the result of listening to shopper feedback given through surveys.

“We’re really responding to indications that people have given to us as to what they want to see at the shopping centre,” he said.

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