With its 10 screen, 100-plus jobs, and multi-million dollar economic impact, the Warren Theatre opened Thursday. The premier theater’s debut began with a grand opening at 10 a.m. followed by afternoon show times for the first movie-goers in the new luxury theater.
“Midwest City has been without a movie cinema for a decade,” said City Manager Tim Lyon. “And not only are we going to have a new theater, it is going to be one of the most beautiful, impressive entertainment venues this area has ever seen.”
Warren Theatres President Bill Warren said the Midwest City theater is the lavish one he’s built.
“Every time we build a new theater, we try to improve the experience for our customers,” he said. “The theater in Midwest City is the most luxurious theater we have ever built. It’s not as big as some of our theaters, but it will provide the most comfortable moving going experience in the most magnificent setting.”
Of the 10 screens, six are single-level theaters and four are full service theaters with balconies.
The total building area for the theater is nearly 73,000 square feet. It sits on over 10 acres and the total estimated cost of the theater is $22 million.
“The economics of this theater will go well beyond our city limits and we expect the Warren Theatre to pull from many areas within a 30-mintute drive,” said Mayor Matt Dukes. “There are over a million residents within that radius and these families spent over $1 billion on entertainment and recreation the past year.”
The theater has a seating capacity of 1,004.
The average attendee spends over $30 at the movies, not including outside purchases,” said Midwest City Economic Development Director Robert Coleman. “Several great retailers are already in place and there are three restaurants under construction and another two in planning in the Sooner Rose Shopping Center and Entertainment Center. We will give our residents and visitors a variety of opportunities to enjoy themselves.”
Coleman noted there is so much commercial activity occurring in the Sooner Rose district, the city anticipates its gross revenues to exceed $100 million in annual sales once it is built out.
The Warren Theatre will have just over 100 employees. The Sooner Rose district will ultimately employ more than 400.
“These new jobs mean that the 8,000 plus Rose State College students will have an opportunity to work within walking distance of the college,” Dukes said. “These are part-time and full-time job opportunities that we’ve never had before.”
The City of Midwest City contributed $5 million as well as land with value in excess of $3.7 million to bring a theater to the community, which has been without one since 2009. The Department of Commerce estimates residents spent about $4.9 million annually in tickets for movies and concerts outside of the city.
Dukes invites everyone in the metro to check out the new theater.
“If you live close by and want to see one of the most stunning, state of the art theaters in this area, you are welcome to come to Midwest City,” he said.
The first movie goers on Thursday saw the Lion King. The debut showing was at 12:30 p.m.