Commentary: Movie Theater Market
Currin, Darren, THE JOURNAL RECORD
With such iconic fictional characters as Iron Man, Batman, and The Incredible Hulk all slated to invade metro area movie theaters over the next four months, it is time for the annual state of Oklahoma City's movie theater market column, and the current state of the market appears good.
Even though high gas prices are forcing consumer to spend less, entertainment industry experts are predicting a record-breaking summer movie season thanks largely to Harrison Ford's return to his legendary Indiana Jones role after an 18-year absence in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on May 22. Consequently, Oklahoma City theater owners are hoping to reap the benefits with so many big-budget summer films heading their way over the next several weeks.
There is limited bad news to report headlined by the loss of the Brixton Square Theater that closed its doors in January. Located at Rockwell and Northwest Expressway, this theater struggled for a number of years in the wake of all the new construction that has transpired in the market over the past decade. The good news is this vacant retail space is being converted into office space by GBR Properties and will not hit the market as vacant space.
Other older theaters that at times appear to have struggled are holding their own and finding ways to attract new and returning customers. The two dollar theaters at Crossroads Mall and Northpark Mall managed by Starplex Cinemas are continuing to attract a steady customer base with their discount pricing. Additionally, the Cinemark Tinseltown in northeast Oklahoma City has breathed new life into their operations by offering the cheapest ticket prices in town for first-run movies in a modern stadium-style setting. …