Stone Theatres plans to build a 14-screen movie theater near Independence Boulevard and South 17th Street, according to an announcement Thursday.
The theater would be located at Barclay Festival, a 34-acre retail mixed-use development that is a joint venture between Cameron Properties Land Co. of Wilmington and Collett, a commercial real estate firm in Charlotte, a news release from Stone Theatres said.
Plans include a 55,000-square-foot cinema with more than 2,800 stadium seats. Previous proposed multi-screen theaters, including one that was supposed to be part of a development off Carolina Beach Road, have fallen through in the past. But, according to the Stone Theatres release, the Barclay Festival multiplex is expected to open in late fall 2016 or early 2017, according to the announcement.
“There is tremendous pent-up demand in this area of Wilmington for [another] multi-screen cinema. Our facility will be a modern and convenient show palace that will fulfill a need for the growing community and create synergy within the development. We expect to build a state-of-the-art cinema unlike any other in the market and are thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Herman Stone, president and CEO of Stone Theatres, in the release.
Hill Rogers, broker-in-charge for Cameron Management Inc., said Barclay Festival will also feature a grocery store, numerous restaurants and shopping, all within a walkable master planned community. Included in the retail component will be numerous open spaces for community gatherings, outdoor dining and seasonal festivals, he said in the release.
“We are thrilled to have Stone Theatres committed to our project in Wilmington. Herman Stone and his team are a first class organization, known in the industry as a leading regional operator with decades of experience building and operating high end cinemas. We expect this cinema will be a catalyst for drawing thousands of customers on a weekly basis to Barclay Festival,” Rogers said in the release. “This development will create jobs and an economic boost to the community.”
John Collett, president and CEO of the Charlotte firm, said, “Collett has been developing prominent and well located retail destinations and shopping centers for years and we are honored to be partnering with Cameron Properties Land Co. on this latest endeavor, which we feel can be a major destination in Wilmington.”
Residential development in midtown Wilmington has been on the rise in recent years, including new apartments and homes that will be within walking distance of Barclay Festival.
"I think it will have a positive influence," said Cal Morgan, a real estate appraiser and owner of JC Morgan Co. "The movie theatre is a result of the area growing and becoming more desirable, which is typically coupled with price appreciation."
Morgan used the example of Regal Mayfaire Stadium 16, the multiplex at Mayfaire Town Center. "I would say it certainly enhanced the area," he said.
The president and CEO of Stone Theatres used to have the same job at Consolidated Theatres, a firm whose locations, including Mayfaire 16, were bought by Regal in 2008, the announcement said.
Stone Theatres, headquartered in Charlotte like Collett, currently operates four locations with 56 screens in North Carolina and South Carolina and is building another in Indian Land, S.C., about 30 minutes south of Charlotte.