By GILBERT HOFFMAN
GREENSPOINT– Houston Intercontinental Chamber members heard about the planned new 20 screen movie theater that Premiere Cinemas is currently building at the site of the former Penney’s store at Greenspoint Mall.
The presentation was made by Gary Moore, president of the Premiere Cinemas company of Big Spring, Texas. The event was the monthly luncheon of the Chamber, held at the Sheraton hotel on JFK Boulevard last Thursday noon.
Although the theaters have been in the planning stage for many years, it was only recently that demolition of the old Penney’s store was accomplished, and the construction of the new theater started.
Moore explained that the Cinema should open in the spring, probably March 2011. Although Premiere Cinemas is a relatively small company in the movie exhibition business, he said, nevertheless they are the leader in using modern projection methods, including digital picture and sound for high quality presentations.
Premiere has four theaters currently operating in the Houston area, and a total of 207 screens nationwide. All of their theaters have digital technology. The new Greenspoint Mall cinema will also feature special seats that enhance the viewing experience. Moore said that this is the third theater in his chain that was designed especially for digital presentation.
Moore said that new theaters are a good draw for additional business for malls, and they expect Greenspoint Mall to benefit from the theaters.
Moore noted that the movie business has been good, even during the current recession. His company has seen growth of 7% in 2009, and 5% in 2010. Patrons attending the 20 screens at Greenspoint Mall could total from 500,000 to 1,000,000 in a year, and this could bring additional business to all the mall stores. The Cinema will employ from 100 to 150 employees in full operation. The theaters will be available for other functions too, he said, such as private parties, and business meetings or conferences.
Premiere Cinema theaters also participate in community events, noting that they have a float in this year’s Christmas Parade in Baytown. Also in the negotiation stage is a possible IMAX theater for the complex.
Reggie Gray, president of the Chamber, introduced Cathy Owen, the new director of the North Houston Economic Development Council. Ms. Owen spoke about the opportunities for new business developments that contact her office on a regular basis, and the positive indications this presents for future growth in the North Houston area.
Reggie Gray welcomed the attendees of the luncheon, and gave a spirited talk about how to maximize the value of the Chamber by networking at events such as this meeting, and in particular he encouraged members to ask the speaker how to participate with their business. Gray pointed out that the Chamber gave small businesses access to large businesses, and their buying needs.
In addition, Gray reported that the Chamber had enrolled 74 new members in 2010, and that the renewal rate was 92%, one of the highest in Houston.
By GILBERT HOFFMAN