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VOL. 128 | NO. 248 | Friday, December 20, 2013

Malco Opens 12-Screen Olive Branch Cinema

By Andy Meek

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Memphis-based Malco Theatres is raising the curtains on a new 12-screen cinema in Olive Branch, as the company continues to push deeper into new markets while at the same time investing in its existing properties.

Memphis-based Malco Theatres is ready to open the new 12-screen cinema in Olive Branch this week. It’s one of several new offerings for the company.

(Submitted)

The Olive Branch theater is set to open Friday, Dec. 20, at 6430 Goodman Road and will greet moviegoers with a range of amenities. One of them is a design first for Malco – installing a completely visible projection booth so audiences can see the digital equipment at work.

The lobby includes a custom-designed water wall, skylights and a cinema lounge complete with a fireplace and sitting area. Some of the touches are becoming more commonplace, like the lobby kiosks that allow customers to avoid waiting in lines and to either buy tickets directly from the kiosk or buy tickets online and pick them up at the kiosk.

The cinema also will offer reloadable gift cards, a common Malco perk, plus space for birthday parties, corporate rentals and worship space. The new space also includes plenty of comforts like oversized luxury seats, state-of-the-art Dolby 7.1 digital surround sound and 3-D projection, wall-to-wall curved screens and a video game arcade.

An expanded concession menu will include traditional movie theater fare like fresh Orville Redenbacher popcorn, candy, nachos and pretzels, in addition to Pronto Pups, chicken tenders and more.

Malco executive vice president Jimmy Tashie said the company made “a significant financial investment in Olive Branch” with the opening of the cinema there.

“Our Olive Branch cinema represents the newest in design and state-of-the-art technical presentation.”

–Jimmy Tashie
Malco executive vice president

“Our Olive Branch cinema represents the newest in design and state-of-the-art technical presentation,” he said, adding that the new theater will provide “a first-class movie going experience.”

It’s the anchor tenant in a Michael Lightman planned development, with future additions including restaurants as well as retail tenants.

Other recent Malco openings include an eight-screen theater in Oxford, Miss., that opened in October. Meanwhile, other cities outside of Memphis will soon join Olive Branch and Oxford in getting new Malco cinemas. New facilities are planned for Gonzales, La.; Winchester, Ky.; and Millington and Jackson, Tenn.

Those are just the locations that company is willing to announce now. Other unannounced locations also are in the pipeline.

It’s not just opening the doors at new locations that characterizes Malco’s growth activity and future plans. The company also is focused on giving makeovers to some of its existing locations.

East Memphis’ Ridgeway Cinema Grill, which Malco formerly called the Ridgeway Four, was recently renovated. That makeover included adding more retro design touches reminiscent of a classic movie house, plus oversized luxury seating, among other touches.

Another recent Malco renovation updated the Forest Hill Cinema in Germantown. When asked about possible renovations at other locations in Memphis, Malco spokeswoman Karen Scott declined to point to specific locations, saying only that, “We are always updating and renovating theaters as needed.”

About the extent to which the company – which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015 – is looking to expand into other markets, Scott said Malco is looking for opportunities within a 500-mile radius to allow for close supervision of those locations’ operations.

Malco is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business that runs more than 330 movie screens at 31 locations across the Mid-South. The company also has bowling and family entertainment centers in Louisiana.

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