TEMPLE, Texas—The Temple Economic Development Corporation (Temple EDC) today announced that the only IMAX theatre to be located between Austin and Dallas will be added to the Temple Mall as part of a redevelopment project. The initial improvements are estimated to cost $3 million during the next 12 months, and up to $24 million during the next 10 years. Premiere Cinemas and IMAX Corporation will begin construction on the IMAX theatre this fall and complete construction in spring 2014.
The addition of the IMAX theatre marks the first step in a major renovation to the Temple Mall property, located at 3111 South 31st St. The Temple Mall was built in 1976.
Temple EDC Vice President Charley Ayres said it is crucial for aging buildings to be revitalized to keep the economy of Temple strong and vibrant. “The IMAX will be a destination that draws people from Temple and beyond for a unique entertainment experience,” Ayres said. “The Temple Mall has long attracted local shoppers, but with this redevelopment and upgrade, including the addition of the only IMAX in the area, we anticipate a regional draw and increased retail sales at the mall.”
Today, the 555,400-square-foot mall features more than 60 specialty shops and restaurants, including anchor tenants Dillard’s, JC Penney and Macy’s. Recent additions include Pro Image Sports and Toys R Us Express, which both opened this year.
Temple Mall General Manager Trish Lee, who has managed the property since 1997, said additional retail stores and restaurants can be expected as part of the mall redevelopment project. Several national retailers, including a big-box retailer, are exploring the possibility of opening a new location at the renovated Temple Mall.
“The IMAX is an exciting addition to the growth Temple Mall is undergoing and underscores our commitment to our community and the local economy,” Lee said. “ Since 2002, Premiere Cinemas has been a vital cornerstone of Temple Mall. The IMAX theatre is the first of many slated projects designed to enhance our customer’s shopping experience.”
In addition to the new IMAX at Premiere Cinemas, the Temple Mall renovation project includes: improvements to the mall’s main entrances; enhanced signage, and other interior and exterior upgrades.
Premiere Cinemas opened a 16-screen theatre at the Temple Mall in 2002. Premiere Cinemas will now feature a 14-screen theatre plus the new IMAX.
IMAX and Premiere Cinemas signed a 20-year contract to construct and operate the new theatre at the Temple Mall. The IMAX will feature the area’s largest indoor movie screen in a structure measuring approximately 89-feet long and 75-feet wide. The oversized auditorium featuring a wall-to-wall screen is engineered to exact IMAX specifications. The theatre will have more than 350 reclining leather chairs with retractable armrests and extended legroom between rows.
IMAX has emerged as one of the world’s most recognized brands with approximately 700 theatres in 52 countries. Originally known for its large, curved screens and nature documentaries, IMAX has evolved into one of Hollywood’s most important partners since it began digitally re-mastering major motion pictures into enhanced formats capable of being presented to audiences on the world’s largest screens with improved clarity, brightness and sound.
The Temple Mall redevelopment project is expected to begin immediately and be complete upon the IMAX opening next spring. A public grand opening event is planned for March 2014 to showcase the Temple Mall improvements and celebrate the completion of the IMAX theatre. The exact date of the event will be announced early next year.
Temple, Texas, is a community with a diverse economic base that includes healthcare, distribution and warehousing, and manufacturing as its foundation. Within 200 miles of a population of 19 million, Temple is in a strategic location that is central within the Southwest U.S. marketplace. Visit choosetemple.com.