University flagship: Georgia Theatre Co. plans deluxe 16-plex in Athens


Just as Georgia Theatre Company (GTC) was one of the first regional circuits to convert to digital, GTC is once again embracing cutting-edge technology and design, with plans for its new, state-of-the-art flagship theatre near the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

GTC’s University Stadium 16 will feature two giant Georgia Theatre Extreme (GTX) auditoriums, a 3,500-square-foot full-service restaurant, and what executives say will be the most enjoyable moviegoing experience available.

“We are proud to provide the people of Athens with the ultimate entertainment experience. Moviegoers will be able to dine at our full-service restaurant before enjoying the latest movie in one of our GTX auditoriums. These auditoriums will feature 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound, a giant wall-to-wall screen and plush seating,” said William Stembler, chairman and CEO of GTC.

Additionally, the cinema’s digital technology will allow St. Simons Island, GA-based Georgia Theatre Co. to play the same film on all 16 screens at the same time for midnight showings of new releases, which creates a unique shared experience for the customer to be a part of history while viewing the same feature simultaneously with others around the country
In business for more than 85 years, the family-owned Georgia Theatre Co. today is one of the 20 largest theatre circuits in the United States, operating 304 auditoriums at 30 locations in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia.

GTC broke ground this summer on the University Stadium 16 and is readying for an early summer 2013 opening.

The cinema will anchor the new Epps Bridge Centre near Athens, a 68-acre retail and entertainment complex that is the largest retail project to get underway in nearly a decade. Atlanta-based Benning Construction Company is constructing the theatre and Hiscutt & Associates is the designer.

The University Stadium 16 will have a modified self-service concession stand. Patrons will enter the theatre and buy their Coke cup, popcorn tub and candy from the first concession stand. They will then go to the next concession area where an attendant will fill their popcorn tub and they will serve themselves at the Coke machine.

The theatre will not feature a box office. Instead, patrons will either purchase tickets at the concession stand or from a self-service kiosk.

The University Stadium 16 will have a slimmed-down projection booth that will house all digital projectors. About half of the auditoriums will be capable of showing 3D movies.
Patrons will have to purchase a movie ticket in order to access the 3,500-square-foot restaurant. They will can then either dine in the restaurant or take their meal into an auditorium. The restaurant will feature both beer and wine.

The GTX auditoriums will be five stories high, with wall-to-wall screens, luxurious seating with extra legroom and 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound.