The movie theater in Pine Bluff will soon be revamped.
Its new owners hope to make it a staple in the community, as it once was.
Engineer Steven Mays grew up watching movies at Pines Cinema 8 in Pine Bluff.
“It was always packed,” Mays said.
Alongside now co-owner Okorie Ezieme, he plans to revamp the declining movie destination.
“This was a movie-going city and I want to bring that back,” Mays said.
He said the community needs this.
“I want to invest back into my hometown, Pine Bluff,” Mays said.
Moviegoers are onboard with giving the Pines Mall theater a makeover.
“I think it’s really fun that they’re going to be able to re-do it. My favorite thing about the movie theater is that I get to go with my family,” Jonathin Taupier said.
“Bring revenue in, as well as bring different movies in, the new movies that’s coming to town, and bring some foot traffic,” Jarron Smith said.
The owner said many people didn’t know the theater has been open and that’s one of the many things he’s hoping to change.
“It’s in slight despair, so it won’t take as much as people think to upgrade it,” Mays said.
The 900-seat theater is set to get modern seating and a mini bar.
“Better food choices, better movie choices; movie selections,” Mays said.
Right now, it’s being inspected by electricians and cleaned.
The eight theaters will be revamped one at a time, so owners don’t have to close down completely during renovations.
By early August, the theater will be opened under the name Saracen Cinema 8.
“The closest movie theater is about 45 minutes away,” Mays said.
Mays hopes this will give the community the hometown option they need.
“Just want to help out young adults who, you know, aren’t able to drive that far. We want to help out the kids being able to see all the movies they want to and also adults who don’t feel like driving,” Mays said.
The owners see a future with the theater averaging 2,000 people a week.
Right now, you can get tickets online at Fandango or www.movietickets.com.