With its 10 screens, 100-plus jobs, and multi-million dollar economic impact, the Warren Theatre opened today. The premier theater’s debut began with a grand opening at 10 a.m. followed by afternoon show times for the first movie-goers in the new luxury theatre.
“Midwest City has been without a movie cinema for a decade,” said City Manager Tim Lyon. “And not only are we going to have a new theater, it is going to be one of the most beautiful, impressive entertainment venues this area has ever seen.”
Of the ten screens, six are single-level theaters and four theaters are full-service theaters with balconies.
The total building area for the theater is nearly 73,000 square feet. It sits on over 10 acres and the total estimated cost of the theater is $22 million.
“The economics of this theater will go well beyond our city limits and we expect the Warren Theatre to pull from many areas within a 30-minute drive,” said Mayor Matt Dukes. “There are over a million residents within that radius and these families spent over one billion dollars on entertainment and recreation the past year.”
The theater has a seating capacity of 1004. “The average attendee spends over $30 at the movies, not including outside purchases,” said Midwest City Economic Development Director Robert Coleman. “Several great retailers are already in place and there are three restaurants under construction and another two in planning in the Sooner Rose Shopping and Entertainment Center. We will give our residents and visitors a variety of opportunities to enjoy themselves.”
Coleman noted there are three major anchors in the Sooner Rose center including Academy Sports and Outdoors, Hobby Lobby and the Warren Theatre, as well as the Burlington store. “We are also thrilled about the other exciting entertainment venue, Andy’s Altitude, that will be opening this fall,” Coleman added.
Coleman noted there is so much commercial activity occurring in the Sooner Rose district, the city anticipates its gross revenues to exceed $100 million in annual sales once it is built out.
Another aspect of the economic impact is jobs. The Warren Theatre will have just over 100 employees. The Sooner Rose district will ultimately employee more than 400. “These new jobs mean that the 8000 plus Rose State College students will have an opportunity to work within walking distance of the college,” said Dukes. “These jobs are part-time and full-time job opportunities that we’ve never had before.”
The City of Midwest City contributed $5 million cash as well as land with value in excess of $3.7 million to bring a theater to the Tinker region, which had been without one since 2009. The city wanted to recapture some of the Department of Commerce’s estimated $4.9 million annually in tickets to movies and concerts its residents were spending outside of Midwest City.
Mayor Dukes invited everyone in the metro to come to the new theater. “If you live close by and want to see one of the most stunning, state of the art theaters in this area, you are welcome to come to Midwest City,” said Dukes.