Lights! Camera! Economic Development!
The long-awaited grand opening is now complete. VIP event hosts Chuck and Gena Norris have left the building after the ribbon-cutting ceremony and ShowBiz Cinemas is now officially open. Although record rainfalls over the summer postponed the opening about a month, the excitement could be felt all over town. Not just citizens wanting the ultimate movie-watching experience, but city leaders wanting to stop what we call leakage.
In economic terms, “leakage” simply means tax dollars from your area going to another area to accomplish something or buy something that they can’t get in your community. Edmond has been lacking this type of modern cinema entertainment and sales tax revenue has been leaking out to Oklahoma City and Moore for several years. To accomplish the project, Edmond city council members approved a $4.8 million economic incentive. The incentive, passed in March 2017, will be paid back by ShowBiz Cinemas and helped with land, site development, and construction costs.
Showbiz Cinemas calls this latest concept a “Movies and More” experience. Located at the northwest corner of I-35 and Covell, it features 14 bowling lanes; a lane-side cafe���� with expansive food and drink options; 10 state-of-the-art movie screens with electric leather recliner seating; full bar with beer, wine, and cocktails; cutting edge modern arcade with redemption center; multiple party rooms for every occasion; and an SDX, Superior Digital Experience auditorium featuring a 70-foot, wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor screen, 4K laser projection and immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound. If you think that sounds impressive, wait until you experience the sound in the theater.
The company allows firefighters and police officers free admission, which management believes makes for a safer entertainment environment. The cinema is part of a much larger vision for this I-35 corridor location calledLegacy at Covell. First to open was the Edmond Conference Center and Hilton Garden Hotel. Starbucks and Braums quickly followed. Zoning has been approved in the area to allow for high- density, multi-family housing and retail, giving the suburban area a more urban feel and hopefully attracting even more amenities to the area..
Dr. J. David Chapman is an Associate Professor of Finance & Real Estate at UCO. [email protected]