Theater will reopen today as plans to renovate continue
Entertainment Cinemas in South County Commons has been closed since March 2020 when the Pandemic hit and government-mandated closures forced businesses to close. After announcing the location would close permanently, an opportunity opened for the team that renovated the Mystic Cinema into a luxury cinema to negotiate a long term lease with SCC Investments, ownership of South County Commons.
In 2015 Harold Blank, a long time cinema operator, purchased the Mystic 3 from Bill Dougherty, kept Bill in the deal, and the two turned the Mystic 3 into a super luxury cinema with heated recliners, a super diversified film programming schedule, a successful cinema rental program driven much by COVID-19, and a philosophy that every guest is important. In addition, the two have experimented with one-night events, a summer family film program where all seats are $2, the Bolshoi Ballet live, and specialty films. The two have a commitment to all families and guests, and look for ways that all patrons can enjoy a movie.
The above Mystic Luxury Cinemas model will be what the South County Cinema will become. The theater has been named the ALL SOUTH COUNTY LUXURY CINEMAS because the operators intend to duplicate what they have done in Mystic. They will operate the cinema for the summer months while they plan the renovation to include the best recliners in the industry with a heat pad on every chair. Blank stated he will begin speaking with distribution partners to acquire all the event programming along with creating a diversified programming schedule. Dougherty will concentrate on the operation of the cinema and says the ALL SOUTH COUNTY LUXURY CINEMA will be just that, “ a luxury cinema for All South County guests and a cinema they all can be proud of; The theatre will belong to the community and we will make everyone proud.”
Even though COVID-19 has made the cinema industry a difficult business today, Blank is very confident a boutique style luxury cinema will work well in South County Commons. Blank and Dougherty are working on a few new ideas such as making one cinema a rental cinema with only stadium seating and a new form of seating up front. Blank says they will be looking at alternative seating; maybe even bean bags for the kids and couches for the adults. In addition, Blank and Dougherty will apply for a liquor license as today’s patron wants more than just a movie. Plans include some hot foods as well.
“We are excited to be here in South Kingstown,” Blank said “and look forward to creating a new luxury cinema for all the south county RI patrons. We are looking to open the cinema this Friday July 9 to the public and get movies back on the screen.”