Drivers on Plato may have seen movement at the old AMC Theatre the past couple of weeks as new owners work to reopen the theatre in Duncan with a new name — Heritage Park Theatre.
Altus Entertainment, which owns several theatre locations in western and southern Oklahoma, purchased the building and now plans for a possible July 10 opening.
Charles Dobbs, one of the partners for Altus Entertainment, said their group, with locations in Altus, Elk City, Weatherford and Chickasha, has worked in the business for 15 years and looks forward to coming to Duncan.
“I am very excited to go to Duncan and I think Carmike and AMC presented a nice theatre in Duncan and we are hoping to run it and make some improvements on it,” Dobbs said. “We want to make a good venue and entertainment option for the people in Duncan and Stephens County.”
Dobbs said parking lot work is underway as they work to make some adjustments to the concrete. They will also update the facade and signage on the front of the building.
Other repairs Dobbs mentioned includes changing the seating out for all of the theaters screens. He wants high back rocker seating, though that might not be done until the first of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said some of the seating manufacturers closed their production and delivery and installation may take until early 2021.
While the current open date is set for July 10, Dobbs said that could change if situations arise where COVID-19 cases come back into the area. He said it also depends on releases for new movies slated for July.
“Our plan is to open up on July 10 and there are several issues to look at with one being the COVID-19 and being safe for the employees and the patrons in the area,” Dobbs said. “We are hoping that with everything we have seen in the infection rate … in Oklahoma and Texas … hopefully will fall and reduce this next month or so.”
Movie studios have a few dates scheduled for new releases in July, but Dobbs said there are options if new movies are not available and that he might open with old films if new ones don’t pan out.
As far as employment, Dobbs confirmed they retained some of the local employees, including the manager, and said there is a plan to continue honoring some concession deals AMC had for the rest of this year.
“AMC had some annual membership for some concession products like popcorn specials and I will honor those for the rest of the year and I don’t want anyone to feel shortchanged for what AMC made to them and then walked away,” Dobbs said. “We are also hoping to do some local specials and maybe adjust some prices to some modern terms for concession products for the Duncan residents. We just want to give you the best image that we can put on the screen.”
Showtimes will post on the theatre’s website at oktheatres.com. Additional details about the opening date will also post on that website as it goes live.