News Column

Upscale dinner theater coming to University Mall

June 3, 2014

By Richard Mullins, Tampa Tribune, Fla.

June 03--University Mall in Tampa has found a new, distinctly upscale theater operator to re-open the long-closed cinema. After a renovation, the new operation will become a dinner/theater, complete with a bar.

Studio Movie Grill has signed a lease for 57,000 square feet in the former Frank Theatres site that closed in January 2013. If construction goes according to plan, the theater will open in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

The mall could use an injection of new capital, as the property has struggled in recent years and been re-positioned as more of a value and discount shopping center. Major anchor tenant sites remain empty, though much of the interior has been renovated with a fresher look.

This marks the first Florida location for the Dallas-based movie theater company, and the 18th nationwide. "We are looking forward to offering not only the best in in-theater dining for local residents but also to becoming a true partner in the community and providing our new Tampa neighborhood numerous economic opportunities," Studio Movie Grill Founder/CEO Brian Schultz said in a statement.

As for the food, Studio Movie Grill covers many of the bases in traditional American restaurants. A 2-for-$25 deal at many locations now includes picks such as Blackened Chicken or Asian Chopped Chicken, or burgers, pizzas and pastas such as Chicken Pesto or Carne Pomodoro.

Drinks are a large part of the offering, and each day the dinner theater has a special deal, such as $5 Margaritas or Friday/Saturday nights with 25-percent off bottles of wine. Ticket prices vary, buy a single adult ticket can cost $9.75 at some theater locations, with discounts for military and senior citizens. Customers can choose their exact theater seat by buying a ticket online in advance.

Such dinner theater combinations are starting to become more prevalent nationwide, with sites such as the Cobb Theaters opening locations in Hyde Park Village and in Pasco County.

(813) 259-7919

Twitter: @DailyDeadline


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Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)

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