By Sarah Mansheim
Lewisburg is getting a bit closer to having a state of the art movie theater this spring. Derek Hyman of Lewisburg Cinema 8’s parent company, GHTC Theatres, says he hopes the new eight-screen theater will open on Mar. 20.
Earlier this winter it was reported the theater would open in February, but a labor dispute on the West Coast has kept equipment from coming into the ports in order to be transported to Lewisburg.
“It’s a matter of getting equipment from China into the U.S.” Hyman said. The theater equipment was scheduled to be here in January, but is just now getting to the job site on Grand Avenue in Lewisburg.
Once open, the movie theater’s eight screens will show all of Hollywood’s current commercial films, and the theater will be open seven days a week. Lewisburg Cinema 8 will house such novelties as 3-D capable screens, “lounger,” recliner-style chairs, stadium seating and self-serve, all you can eat popcorn and soda.
The all-you-can-eat popcorn is something never seen in the area, and will allow moviegoers to refill their containers if they finish their snacks before the movie begins. “Dispensers will sell the bag and you can fill it up with popcorn and put in as much or as little butter as you want,” said Hyman. “Then, when you’ve finished your popcorn, you can go back and get more for as long as you’re in the theater. When you leave, you can get a bit more for the road.”
The movie theater has been a long time coming – the property, located behind the Lowe’s home improvement store, was purchased in December of 2012, and the theater owners have fought an uphill battle over zoning restrictions and water drainage requirements for the area’s first large movie theater.
Currently, there are only two movie theaters serving the Greenbrier Valley – the single-screen Lewis Theatre in downtown Lewisburg and the two-screen Seneca Showcase at Greenbrier Valley Mall in Fairlea. Both of those theaters have been part of the community for many years. In 2013, the Lewis Theatre successfully funded a new, $39,000 digital projection system through Kickstarter, an online fundraising program.