Patrons of the old Super Saver Superstition Springs movie theater are going to be “blown away” when it reopens next month.
The eight-screen theater at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa closed early last month after Super Savers’ lease expired. Steve Wood, Superstition Springs Center senior property manager, said the theater used to draw heavy traffic and was a major attraction at the mall.
“Super Saver opened it back in 1990 when the mall opened and it’s pretty much been the discount theater in this part of town since that time,” he said. “It went through some minor remodels over the years, but in the last few years its attendance has declined and they weren’t doing the business they wanted to do, so they didn’t reinvest a lot of money into the building.”
Now, however, the theater is teeming with construction activity as Picture Show Entertainment, a Texas-based movie exhibitor, plans to reopen it with an “updated design with a bright inviting atmosphere, new seats, and enhanced projection and sound presentation.”
The new theater will open March 13. It will still be a discount theater.
“(Patrons) are going to just be amazed with the quality of the facility and the quality of our operations,” said Jeff Stedman, Picture Show CEO. “We’re spending a lot of money to bring it back to life. You’ll be able to tell and see when you walk through the doors … a brand-new, fresh environment that’s really inviting to families.”
The reopening of this theater is Picture Show’s first project in Arizona. Stedman, a former high-ranking executive in Cinemark, founded Picture Show five years ago. It refurbishes and reopens older theaters in otherwise commercially successful shopping centers.
“It has to be a great retail corridor and a great retail center, and it has to be a theater that we believe we can go in and bring it back to life, and be a major draw for the area,” he said. “The East Valley is a very attractive market for what we do. There’s a large family demographic, so we just know that … the density of the area and with the Superstition Springs mall draw, it’s going to be a very successful theater.”
The new theater should once again be a major attraction at the mall, Wood said.
“We’re expecting the theater to be a destination again, to bring shoppers back to the theater and shoppers back to the mall,” he said.
With economic woes all around, it’s a good time to be in the movie business because people are looking for an escape from everyday life, Stedman said.
“People like to go out and be entertained when they feel the pressures of the real world … and this is a wonderful way to do it,” he said.