Published by The Gazette | October 17 2012 | Written by Wayne Heilman
Carmike will close its 15-screen theater complex at the mall on Oct. 26, then demolish that building and an adjacent vacant former Kmart store to make way for a 13-screen complex featuring a 600-seat auditorium equipped with a screen that will be 80 feet wide and 3½ stories tall.
The Carmike 13, scheduled to open next fall, will have entrances from both the parking lot and the mall and will feature stadium-style seating and one-stop ticketing and concession stations, said Terrell Mayton, Carmike’s director of marketing. The new theater will be the first in Colorado to include the company’s “BIGD” auditorium, which includes a 3½-story wall-to-wall screen, 7.1 surround sound and digital projection of both two- and three-dimensional movies using equipment that produces higher resolution than high-definition.
“This project has been envisioned many years ago, but all of the elements fell into place during the past four or five months,” Mayton said, referring to mall owner Garrison Investment Group’s purchase of the former Kmart store for $5 million in February and the hiring a year ago of Urban Retail Properties to manage Chapel Hills. “Urban is know for revitalizing malls that have gone through challenges, and we have worked with them previously to build BIGD complexes in malls they manage in Cleveland, Tenn., and Decatur, Ala.”
Garrison will build and lease the new complex to Carmike for 15 years. The project ends uncertainty about the mall’s east end, which has suffered since Kmart closed its store in 2009. Garrison bought the mall for $71.5 million last year and has been remodeling the 1.2 million-square-foot center on the north side of Colorado Springs. Garrison is trying to attract tenants to replace a Borders Book & Music store that closed in 2011 when the chain shut down and an Old Navy store that moved to an adjacent center, also in 2011.