By Jeff Harrison
People will have to wait a little longer to watch movies on the big screen in Midwest City.
Warren Theatres has postponed the opening of its Midwest City cinema until next month, according to Robert Coleman, economic development director for Midwest City.
The theatre is expected to open Friday, Aug. 16. A ribbon cutting is set for 10 a.m. with showings that afternoon.
Warren had planned to open next week, but construction crews are still finishing the 65,000-square-foot theatre, located near SE 15th St. and Sooner Rd. Coleman said progress has been slowed by weather and a shortage of skilled labor.
“The number one thing is they lost almost 20 percent of the work days due to inclement weather,” Coleman said. “And there is a lack of skilled labor due to a thriving economy with low unemployment. It’s difficult to find some of the tradesman to work on the theatre when so many other jobs are available.”
Coleman said they have most of the interior completed including seating, wall coverings, ceilings, projectors, kitchen, bar area, alarm system and fire suppression system. He said they still need to finish various tasks inside the building including flooring in the lobby. Outside, they are still working on a detention pond and concrete paving.
“We’d rather have them open later and have everything right,” Coleman said. “I believe they will make the Aug. 16 date and it may even be earlier than that.”
The Midwest City Warren will feature 10 screens including four with balcony seating. Auditoriums will feature spacious seating with double arm rests, heated seats, and high-quality audio and video systems. The mezzanine level will serve food and alcoholic beverages.
The Midwest City theatre represents a new chapter for the Kansas based company. Owner Bill Warren sold all of his operating cinemas to Regal Entertainment. Midwest City and other future locations were not included in the sale. Warren described the new theatre as “smaller but more luxurious” than others he’s built.
The Warren is part of the Sooner Rose Shopping Center in Midwest City. The development includes a mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment. Andy’s Altitude 1291 broke ground on its new indoor entertainment center in February and they plan to open in October. Fuzzy’s Tacos and Party Galaxy are also under construction and slated to open soon, Coleman said.
The project is developed by Sooner Investment LLC in partnership with the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority, a public trust.