Warren Theaters planning Midwest City theater

Warren Theatres LLC is working with the City of Midwest City to build a 10-screen theater near SE 15th St. and Sooner Rd.

Midwest City residents may soon not have to leave town to go the movies.

In fact, it could be quite the opposite.

Warren Theatres LLC is considering building a 10-screen theater that would anchor a development near SE 15th Street and Sooner Road. The proposed 70,000-square-foot theater would be the first of a new concept that is “smaller but more luxurious,” said Bill Warren, theater owner.

The theater would be part of the Sooner Rose Shopping Center development that will include several restaurants, retail space and an entertainment venue. Hobby Lobby and Academy Sports and Outdoor anchor the first of the three-phase development. Warren Theatres would like to open in summer 2018.

The proposed Midwest City theater would offer a high end experience for movie goers. All of the theaters will feature spacious seating with double arm rests with heated seats as well as high-quality audio and video systems. Four of the auditorium screens will include a balcony or mezzanine level for guests who are 21 or older. The balcony will include alcoholic beverages and food service.

The interior of the theater will be different than the Moore location, which has 21 screens. Midwest City would not have an IMAX screen, a game room or restaurant on the first floor. An enhanced concession will serve food items on the first floor. The building would feature Warren’s trademark grand entrance and two-story lobby. The theater would also include a 12-14 foot berm that would serve as a buffer to the residential north of the property.

“You give them more than they anticipate and they will talk about it,” Warren said.

Warren believes the theater will serve as a draw throughout the metro. He said less than 10 percent of the customers at the Moore theater are from Midwest City.

“All theaters tend to show the same movies, so I need to build a better mouse trap. I have to give you better service and I have to give you better value for your money,” Warren said.

Theater representatives said they plan to hire local residents and contract with local companies for services.

The movie theater would anchor the second phase of the Sooner Rose Shopping Center, which has been developed by Sooner Investment LLC. A third phase would include an entertainment center and additional retail. It would be located between Buena Vista Ave. and Crosby Blvd.

Sooner Investment would not disclose which restaurants would be built as part of the development, but said Warren Theatres is a major draw.

Midwest City is working on an incentive and financing package to spur the development. The plans included about $20 million in public funds and property for phase two of the development.

The city plans to provide $11 million for the theater with $6 million in land contribution and $5 million in construction costs. Sooner Investment would receive $5 million for development expenses, infrastructure and land contribution. The city is proposing a tax incremental financing or “TIF” district. The loan would be paid through ad valorum and sales and use tax revenue.

The proposed TIF District is currently producing $100,000 in ad valorum taxes. Robert Coleman, economic development director expects that number to grow to about $1 million when the development is completed.

“There is no way we could do one or the other, it has to be both,” Coleman said. “And we’ll take all of the use taxes collected that we can prove were delivered to the site.”

The Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority, a public trust, would contribute $2.4 million and property valued at $1.3 million.

Coleman said there are several steps before the development becomes a reality. The city and representatives from Warren Theatres and Sooner Investment presented the project to the Local Development Act Review Committee, which includes representatives from local taxing entities and the community. The committee needs to recommend project plan and approve a resolution of findings relative to the TIF district.  The city must also rezone property and meet with neighborhoods.

“There is a lot of stuff that has to happen,” Coleman said.

Midwest City officials, developers and Warren Theatres representatives have been working on the project for several months. The group made a formal presentation Monday during a meeting with the Local Development Act Review Committee. The committee will meet again Thursday to further discus the creation of TIF District, which city leaders say is necessary for the project to progress.

Mayor Matt Dukes said the development is a game changer that will serve a major need in the community. Councilman Pat Byrne said it’s been difficult to keep the project under wraps.

“Something like this is not going to come around very often,” Bryne said the meeting.

The company operates theaters in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

12 Comments

  1. Mike on February 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Please find another location, that wal-mart is always having people getting there purses snatched and robbed. Great idea to bring it to midwest city, i definitely like that.

  2. Sunny magee on February 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    The leaders of Midwest City have done such a wonderful job new schools new mall the whole town looks great and now a theater these leaders are the greatest I’ve seen hope you stay in there

    • Perry Bodoh SR on February 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Yes Midwest city is doing a good job for them that live on the south side of the city but when you go north from Reno to 23rd street has been abandoned you have a old Mall just sitting there and every store that goes out of business it stay empty. Midwest city you need to take care of the whole city not just half of it where it cost you less to build in because of the access it is unsafe you are pushing low income people all into one place and everyone’s taxes are going up when few get the benefits. Hope you listen THAN YOU!

  3. Rita of MWC on February 21, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Awesome, my family has always had discussions on things that would enhance our community. Looking forward to the upcoming businesses and pray that they be successful..I a resident of Midwest City,for over 40 years welcome you with open arms and prayerfully submit blessings upon your endeavors. To the city of MWC, Thank you for meeting the needs of the people who live in this community. God bless

  4. Kelly on February 21, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    I miss being able to go just to Midwest City to see a movie.

  5. Shannon Libby on February 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    My husband and I bought a cute home here in Midwest City. I am so glad to see new venues coming to the area. All improvements are welcome to increase the positive input into our great little community. Yayyyy!!! I’m so excited!!

  6. Barbara and Pat Emery on February 21, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    So excited for the Warren to come to Midwest City!

  7. Felicia Lucas on February 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    How about Bed Bath and Beyond? The closest one is in Moore, by the Warren theater there….

  8. John C on February 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I also 2nd the comment that the east side needs a theater. THAT location is not the best in my opinion however. That location is only minutes from Harkins and not a terribly far drive from Tinseltown. I would suggest a little farther east and you would have a pretty good business serving the Tinker bedroom communities as well as the MWC area. The Douglas and 29th area with good interstate access would be a better location in my opinion. You’d also get the east side folks who end up in Shawnee theaters. Heck, build at I-40 and Post road and put in a set of exits. Or build at Anderson Rd and I-40 where the exits have already been improved and congestion is lower.

  9. Kylie on February 21, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Make Midwest City great again! While we are at it, let’s increase Fire Fighter’s, Police Officer’s, and EMT salaries instead of inserting garden medians that aren’t well landscaped or maintained.

  10. Aaron Williams on February 22, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Think it is

  11. Aaron Williams on February 22, 2017 at 6:27 am

    I always thought that that location would be a great place for a movie theater. I am a retired theater manager. And projectionist.

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