Wheeling Town Center theater opening delayed to add restaurant
The opening of CMX Cinemas, the main retail attraction at Wheeling Town Center, will be delayed because its owners have decided to add a full-service restaurant.
CMX is replacing one of its planned theaters with the restaurant, reducing the number of movie screens to seven. The change will push back the expected summer opening about three months to later in the fall.
"This change will not only enhance the CMX customer experience and improve the draw to the Wheeling Town Center but will create additional local jobs and generate more sales tax revenue to the village," Daniel Shapiro, an attorney for CMX, said in a letter to the village.
The village board voted unanimously Monday to approve the change.
Unlike the other commercial properties and the apartment complex at the Wheeling Town Center, the Lynmark Group is not overseeing construction of the theater. CMX is leading the project.
The company said an analysis of the local market and the recent acquisition of Cobb Theaters, which includes the restaurant concept CineBistro, led to the change.
This is the latest in several changes from original plans for the theater. At one point, the theater layout included 10 auditoriums with 796 total seats, but later was reduced to eight auditoriums with 760 seats. Now the theater will have seven auditoriums with 637 seats.
The restaurant will add 183 seats for dining and be open to the public, not just those who've purchased a movie ticket. Previously, customers would have been able to only order food and eat while in the theater.
"Today's new theaters are designed to provide a more holistic dining and movie experience that responds to local market demands," Shapiro said. "It is this new design concept that will ensure the CMX theater at the Wheeling Town Center will remain highly successful and competitive."