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New Apple Blossom theater construction under way

The new 12-screen cinema at Apple Blossom Mall is under construction. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Sally Voth

While it will be some time yet before the curtain rises on 12 new movie screens in Winchester, construction crews are outside raising walls.

Carmike Cinema Inc. eastern divisional manager Thomas Bridgman said last spring that the new theater, attached to Apple Blossom Mall -- itself getting an overhaul -- would include a BIGD auditorium.

That auditorium's screen will be three stories tall and 60 feet wide, and feature 7.1 surround sound, leather stadium-style seating, and a "cutting-edge Christie Brilliant 3D flash projector," a Carmike news release stated.

Bridgman said 7.1 sound splits the listening channels into three behind the screen and four surrounding channels.

The existing six-screen theater was demolished to make way for the Apple Blossom 12.

This week, a chain-link fence surrounded gray concrete partially erect walls. Rebar could be seen inside. Lift machines and piles of dirt and rubble were on the edges of the construction site.

While Bridgman said last May the theater was expected to be open in the spring, signs at the mall say the opening is expected for summer.

Larry Nelson, area director of mall marketing and business development for Simon Brand Ventures, the mall's owner, said the theater opening is being met with anticipation.

"People that are wanting it to open are just so, so excited," he said on Tuesday.

He noted the seats would be back rocking, and all the screens would be different sizes. The theater with its BIGD is a boon to the mall, Nelson said.

"It's a tremendous consumer draw to the mall, stores and restaurants in the mall," he said.

Nelson said there would be an open courtyard between the mall and cinema with bright lighting, LED-illuminated benches, music and tables with umbrellas for diners.

Contact staff writer Sally Voth at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or svoth@nvdaily.com


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