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Thread: RiverWalk Crossing Update

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default RiverWalk Crossing Update

    Tulsa's loss continues to be Jenks' gain!


    Tulsa firm launches chain of cinemasby Kirby Lee Davis
    The Journal Record
    Journal Record Photo TULSA - Blake Smith grimaced as he pondered how to arm the telephone answering software for his young company's first megaplex, the $5.2 million RiverWalk Movies.

    At the other end of the 20-acre RiverWalk Crossing development, workers rushed Thursday to finish laying asphalt in the parking lot, test the 38,000-square-foot building's fire alarm, install a new point-of-sale system for the concession stand and finish other last-minute touch-ups, all for that evening's invitation-only gala.

    "So as you can see, we're very busy," he said, offering a weary smile.

    Select Cinemas of Jenks will open its first megaplex with today's first 10:30 a.m. showing. It's an important indoctrination for a company that hopes to open a similar-sized cinema each year for the next five years.

    "We're at the stage where when each one is open, we can't afford to miss," said Smith, the vice president and co-owner of Select Cinemas.

    The debut's also vital to RiverWalk Crossing, the Mediterranean-style development opened earlier this year beside the Oklahoma Aquarium. Those projects represent some of the first commercial developments to build upon the Arkansas River environment.

    Jerry R. Gordon Developments LLC of Jenks will use the cinema to launch RiverWalk Crossing's 26-acre second phase, said Property/Tenant Manager Amanda Hebb. That expansion will include a hotel.

    RiverWalk merchants look forward to the theater, which can seat 1,750 patrons at any one time.

    "We have to work to make this experience enjoyable on a family level," said Chris Dorver, co-owner of Gina & Guiseppe's Italian Deli and Market. "I think it's really going to strengthen the flow of traffic."

    Smith expects the 38,000-square-foot RiverWalk Movies to attract 300,000 patrons its first year. He admits that is about 100,000 fewer than projected by the National Association of Theater Owners Inc., but he wanted to be conservative.

    "The center as a whole ought to benefit from it," said Tinker Gordon, who with his wife, Judy, operates the 3,200-square-foot Good Things home décor shop. "We're optimistic."

    As the theater represents RiverWalk's first magnet business, Dorver projected people would naturally come for a movie and then shop and eat.

    "Even if I only just sell them an appetizer, that's one appetizer I wouldn't have sold otherwise," he said.

    Its riverfront location provides the cinema with more than atmosphere. Smith said RiverWalk Movies has about a six-mile buffer between it and its nearest competitor, the Starworld 20 Theaters.

    Though it has only eight rooms, Smith noted each one can serve at least 145 viewers, the biggest accommodating more than 300 to view its 45-foot by 20-foot screen. In addition to high-back stadium seats, each theater employs DTS digital surround sound. A staff of 30 will operate the multiplex.

    Not everything there is state of the art.

    "It's a little bit premature," he said of using digital projection, pointing out such systems still cost more than $100,000 per screen, with no industry standard established. "But the screens that are there are ready for the digital picture."

    Select Cinema's next eight-screen complex should present its first show this summer in Gun Barrel City, Texas, a lake community about an hour from Dallas. The company also operates Tulsa's 56-year-old Admiral Twin Drive-in.

    The company's market philosophy is to build cost-efficient theaters in underserved, mid-sized markets with populations from 20,000 to 200,000. It also has a program for updating older theaters. Its management has a combined 84 years of experience in the motion picture industry.

    Jerry R. Gordon Developments was the contractor for the cineplex, as it was RiverWalk Crossing. Besides Good Things and Gina & Guiseppe's, the 70,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space comprising the center's first phase included the apparel companies Azur Couture and Island Nation; the eateries Gary's Grill, the Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant, Nordaggio's Coffee and Tsunami Asian Bistro; Cat & the Fiddle Toys; Bahama Sun Spa; the Wild Honeysuckle Gifts & Home Décor; and the Cigar Box. Further details on phase two were not available.

  2. #2
    swake Guest

    Default Re: RiverWalk Crossing Update

    Across the river from the Riverwalk Crossing on the Tulsa side, King's Landing, a smaller center but one much like the Riverwalk is now under construction.

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