Republic Theatre Group purchased the Wilmington indoor theater from Chakeres Theatres at the beginning of February and got right to work closing its doors on Feb. 4 for renovations.
In the few weeks that the theater will be closed, they will be installing digital projection, 5.1 digital audio, and flex back wide seats with cup holders
“Right now we’ve already torn out all the old projectors and they’re in the process of bringing in the digital projectors,” head manager Bobby Renshaw said. “All the theaters will be in digital by the time the theater itself is open.”
The total cost of remodeling is uncertain, but the Republic Theatre Group is making a large investment.
“People are going to be excited to see that somebody is investing a little more time and money into making sure that it actually looks better and everything,” Renshaw said.
As for employee Nikita James, she has been going to the theater since she was a kid and is “excited for these improvements!”
“I’m also hoping to see the theater get new movies faster than Chakeres did and not keep them for months at a time because that really affects business,” James said. “I really think Republic Theatre will have a very positive effect on the community…The theater is really one of the only forms of entertainment left in Wilmington that has no age restrictions.”
Republic Theatre Group also purchased Chakeres Franklin Square Cinema 6 in Frankfort, Kentucky earlier this year.
“In Frankfort, when we changed over ownership from Chakeres, we actually doubled if not almost tripled our business within the community,” Renshaw said.
As for the name of the theater and ticket prices, everything will remain about the same for the time being.
“I’m assuming what will probably happen is it will be called Wilmington Plaza Cinemas or Wilmington Plaza Cinema 5,” Renshaw said. “Right now all the tickets will remain at $5.50 until at least a majority of the remodels are done.”
The theater is scheduled to open on Feb. 28, and Renshaw believes that everything is on track for that date.
For the latest updates on the theater, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Wilmingtonplaza5.