01/25/04 — Movie theaters race to enter Goldsboro

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Movie theaters race to enter Goldsboro

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 25, 2004 2:02 AM

From one company or another, Goldsboro apparently will get a new movie theater this fall, and it will have 12 or 14 screens, depending on which company builds it. The race is on.

All Star Entertainment Corp. had announced plans for a 14-screen theater to be built behind Lowe's Home Improvement Store off Berkeley Boulevard. The company has been making arrangements to buy 11 acres, and it had planned a contest for the selection of a name for the theater.

On Friday, United Entertain-ment Co. announced plans for a 12-screen theater off the Martin Luther King Expressway, near the Best Western Motel and Norwood Avenue. President Mike Ross said the firm is buying 7.9 acres.

Ross said, however, that the market would not support both projects. He said United Entertainment had heard about All Star Entertainment's plans but that his company is moving ahead, hoping to have its theater open by early fall.

Brian McCall of All Star had said that company's theater also hoped to be open by next fall. McCall could not be reached after Ross's announcement.

Ross said that despite All Star's announcement, "We're moving ahead with our plans."

United Entertainment already has multi-screen theaters in Kinston and Rocky Mount. Ross said the Minnesota-based company had been considering a Goldsboro location for four years or longer and that he had visited the area several times. The company has more than 300 theaters.

Seventy Commercial Park, LLC, whose principal owner is Dillon Wooten of Goldsboro, owns the site that Ross has selected.

Rick Sumner a spokesman for Seventy Commercial Park said, "The property is in a great location and can be developed very quickly. Prototype plans are currently being submitted. We believe a new, state-of-the-art theater would be a very positive addition to Goldsboro and the surrounding area. The theater will employ 50 people and have the latest in digital sound and stadium seating."

Meanwhile, Brian McCall of the other company, Shallotte-based All Star Entertainment, said his company would start construction of its theater next month. He said it would feature plush high-back rocking chairs with retractable armrests and cup holders on every seat. The theater will be equipped with all digital sound and will have four THX certified auditoriums.

The THX company was established in 1983 by George Lucas to ensure that the audience experienced films as the director intended.

McCall said his company owns the land, will build the building and will manage the theater.

"We put the property under contract last March, but got serious about it this fall," he said.

Before that, the company was finishing two other theater projects in the state, one in Southern Pines and one in Shallotte, where its headquarters is.

McCall said All Star Entertainment, which is a small private company, wants to bring a variety of films. "We want to bring that choice here," he said, "and keep people home. Our niche is smaller towns."

All box offices will offer computerized ticketing with advance sales and will accept credit cards for purchases. The theater will be handicapped accessible. It will also feature a party room available for birthdays and seminars.

"All Star Entertainment is very excited about this beautiful new theater. Wayne County deserves this high quality theater, and we are sure the community will enjoy movie going like never before," said McCall.

The plans of All Star and United Entertainment include tiered stadium seating.