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Article updated: 1/21/2013 4:48 PM

Theater moving quickly through approval process in Arlington Heights

By Melissa Silverberg

Plans for a new movie theater in downtown Arlington Heights are moving forward quickly with owners making two appearances before village boards and commissions this week.

The movie theater, owned by Houston-based Star Cinema Grill, was announced in late December, and is on the fast track for approval of its plans to renovate and reopen this spring or summer, officials have said.

Owners will appear before the Arlington Heights village's board's Committee of the Whole to request a Class "AA" liquor license on Tuesday night. The village's plan commission on Wednesday will discuss the movie theater's request to place a restaurant inside the facility.

The new cinema will replace Arlington Theaters, which closed in July. Owners plan to significantly rearrange the space and upgrade seating and projection equipment. The number of seats will fall from 1,600 to 700, but the number of screens will remain at six, said Charles Witherington-Perkins, Arlington Heights' director of planning and community development.

Arlington Heights will be Star Cinema Grill's first venture outside suburban Houston. The restaurant-theater model is more common in Texas than in Illinois, but the company has had an eye out for opportunities in the Midwest for some time, Vice President of Operations Gus Vazquez said.

The plan commission meets starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the third floor Community Room at Village Hall, 33 S. Arlington Heights Road. The committee of the whole will discuss the theater's liquor license in the same room starting at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

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