Developers from Pullman and Spokane plan to build a new multiplex cinema at a North Spokane shopping center, with an opening slated for spring.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two months on the Village Centre Cinemas Wandermere, a 14-screen movie theater, planned for the Wandermere shopping center at Highway 395 and Farwell Road.
Duane Brelsford is president of Corporate Pointe Developers, of Pullman, which operates two Village Centre Cinemas in Pullman and Lewiston. Brelsford has joined with Spokane developers Dick Vandervert and Lowell McKee to create the new $9 million multiplex at Wandermere.
“We’ve just got to throw our hat in the ring up there,” Brelsford said.
The 50,000-square-foot, 1,650-seat movie theater will offer first-run films, with ticket prices comparable to the region’s other first-run cinemas at the NorthTown mall, the Spokane Valley Mall, River Park Square and in Coeur d’Alene, Brelsford said.
The movie theater will offer the latest features in seating and technology, with stadium seating, curved screens and digital sound, Brelsford said. Moviegoers also will be able to purchase tickets online at spokanemovies.com, a Web site that should be operation in about five months.
Best Theaters of Bozeman will coordinate with movie studios to procure films for Village Centre Cinemas, as it does at Brelsford’s other two movie houses. Best Theaters will analyze the demographics of the area to determine what movies will be most popular here, Brelsford said. For example, children’s movies are popular at the Lewiston cinema, but “edgier” films are more popular in Pullman, where the audience contains more young adults, he said.
Brelsford anticipates hiring 40 to 50 people to work at the new movie theater.
Though this is Brelsford’s first movie theater venture in the Spokane area, he is already researching a second location. However, he declined to disclose that location.
“We’re looking at an area that’s underserved,” Brelsford said.
The planned opening of the new 14-screen cinema is the latest step in this region’s transformation from older, smaller movie houses to modern multiplexes with the latest in technology and comfort. The opening of Regal Cinemas’ 14-screen multiplex in Coeur d’Alene came in conjunction with the closing of the company’s two older movie theaters there. And last summer, Regal closed the Newport 8, saying it had lost attendance since NorthTown Mall’s 12-screens opened in September 2000.