'Luxury' Changes Coming to University Mall

Molly De Marco's picture
It was just announced this morning that big changes are coming to the University Mall (no more Dillards sadly - where will I buy my ladies underpinnings...) and a 13-screen, $16/movie ticket high-end movie theater instead. More details are here. So, what do you think? Do we need another movie theater when we already have 4 first-run movie theaters within a 15-minute drive? How about a high-end one with dining featuring a $9.75 mini-cheeseburger?

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Total votes: 1

19 Comments

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Bleh

We could definitely use a mainstream movie theater so folks don't have to drive to Southpoint, but with ticket prices like that people who can drive will spend the extra gas to pay the already-high prices at normal thaters.Frankly I don't think Chapel Hill needs more 'luxury' anything, whether it's condos or movie theaters.  

Ruby Sinreich's picture

True, still bleh

You're right I wasn't thinking about the Regal and Lumina, I guess because I hardly ever go to movies anymore. (And when I do they're likely to be playing at the Chelsea.)That just makes me even less excited about this new one. But I'm obviously not the target demographic since I don't have piles of money falling out of my wallet. 

More movies would be welcome

The problem isn't the lack of movie options in Chapel Hill. It's the lack of options in the Triangle more generally. My understanding is that the movies in the region are all booked out of Boston, and they program the same films in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. So, it's highly unlikely that a film will be playing in Chapel Hill that you can't see in Durham, and vice versa. If we had an independently operated, and programmed, theater in Chapel Hill, preferably one that takes a broader and more historical scope, I think the theater could do well. Instead, this new theater seems designed to just upsell the same bland movies by offering better seats and tastier food than the existing options.While one could hope that this new theater drives Chelsea/Varisty in a new direction, I suspect that it will just further reduce film options in the Triangle. 

leestorrow's picture

Exciting!

It's an exciting project! I think it's going to be a great anchor business for University Mall, and I could tell that many current business owners were exciting at the press conference this morning. 

jrees's picture

Expensive, but worth it for me

Yeah, I shudder at the suggested ticket prices.  But, it's a win for me as I hate going to Southpoint for movies.  So much so that I miss seeing some movies because of the driving and parking experience there.The extra patron traffic will, hopefully, revitalize University Mall.  Both for dining and draw some needed new business.Of course.  What is lost?  Well, Dillards was pretty much *it* for retail in Chapel Hill. Matt Czajkowski only half joked , on twitter, on where he was going to buy his socks and underwear now.  You can either buy cheap quality clothes at Roses or expensive socks at one of several speciality retailersJohn Rees

George C's picture

Well, the ticket prices....

at DPAC aren't exactly cheap and yet that developer managed to turn a performing arts center in Durham, next to a jail, into a huge overnight success.  Since this group is just beginning to expand in the US, I expect that they could have chosen a lot of locations for their next project.  The fact that they chose CH leads me to believe that they probably know their business better than most, if not all, of us.

Suzanne Haff's picture

Great!

I probably won't use it much, but I think it will be great to have it as a choice. With CH developing rapidly on the "Southern End", I would think it will have many patrons and be a big success. And that's what we want for Chapel Hill, successful businesses and happy customers who will help to lower taxes - right?! 

Seating

Will the theater offer staggered seating or be another one of those flat/gently sloped kind of theaters? Whether it's the former or the latter is something that would be a make or break for me to go there over Southpoint. 

Molly De Marco's picture

Operating in Florida

Silverspot Cinema has a theater in Naples, Florida. Their website isn't very good in terms of employment opportunities. I had to send a request for that information. Hopefully, their jobs offer a living wage adequate for our community.

Geoff Green's picture

luxury theater

I've never been to one of these fancy theaters. I rarely go to normal movie theaters because the experience of seeing it there is not a big advantage over watching it at home, but if it's got comfy seating and decent food, it could be a nice place for a date night — which we could reach by bike!

Suzanne Haff's picture

Wages

I do hope we will negociate for higher wages for the employees  than are paid by UNCCH. We need to push up the minimum wage if we are going to be paying top dollar for movie tickets.

Geoff Green's picture

another take

One reason my wife and I don't often go to movies is because we usually want to get something decent to eat, and to do that and get to the movie theater in time to get a decent seat and then get home at a reasonable time can be really tough. If there's a movie theater with food that's actually halfway decent, then that's a big bonus. And the higher cost of the ticket might be offset by the reduction in babysitting costs...

I say, give it a chance.

Check the current offerings at their other outlet, in Florida.http://go.silverspotcinema.com/visMovies2Column.aspxThere are a few current popular movies being shown, but in addition there are operas from Moscow, a production of La Triviata from La Scala,  a Boishi ballet production, Hamlet and Coriolanus from the National Theater, and Carmen from the Sydney opera.  $16.00 for one of these productions is a steal.  This is not the 'movie theater' we are accustomed to in this country.  Broadway tickets  cost a fortune. For us to be able to see a quality production of the kind they are currently showing without even leaving town is a good deal for Chapel Hill.  We all seem to like being unique and this will add to our uniqueness. It will draw people interested in these arts from Durham and Raleigh, and they will spend their money here in our town. There is already plenty of parking at the mall. Some of those attending movies will visit our other unique shops at the mall and even more money will be spent here. This is good for our towns.

mtpalmer's picture

Happy to have options

 My only question is will they pay living wages. We cannot afford businesses where we need to subsidize their employees' basic needs through public housing and other help. I don't mind paying a few dollars more to patronize a local business that offers good entertainment and a good income to folks in our community. Of course I hope the shows are more than the same movies showing at Southpoint, but this appears to be the case from looking at what is going in their other locations.  This seems to be a good fit for our art-loving community. Depending on their hiring practices, I may be first in line to buy tickets.  maria Maria T. Palmer