WARNER ROBINS — A lot went on behind the scenes to prepare for the grand opening of the Houston Lakes Stadium Cinemas at the intersection of Ga. 96 and Lake Joy Road taking place today.
Employees of the theater did everything from assembling the sign outside the building, touching up paint on the walls and waxing the floors Wednesday.
“We have to put the posters in the cases and make sure the Coca-Cola is flowing,” said Dan Chun, the theater’s general manager. “We have to make sure it looks like a movie theater.”
Chun already has experience in the process of opening a movie theater, as he oversaw the opening of another at Lake Oconee almost two years ago.
“I’m thrilled and honored. I’m very excited. Opening a theater is very exciting and challenging,” Chun said.
The theater is the latest addition at the intersection, which has seen booming residential and business growth within the last few years.
“We’re very excited about being a part of the area,” said Ansley Scoville, advertising and promotions manager for the Georgia Theatre Co., which owns Houston Lakes Stadium Cinemas. “We recognize a lot of growth. The location is ideal for Warner Robins, Macon and outlying areas.”
The theater includes 10 screens, select 3D auditoriums, stadium seating and the capacity to be expanded to 14 screens.
Houston Lakes Stadium Cinemas will be the 29th theater owned by Georgia Theatre Co. The company also owns two other theaters in Houston County — the Galleria Mall Stadium Cinemas 15 and Parkway Value Cinemas 6.
The doors open today at 1:30 p.m. in time for the theater’s first screening, “Marmaduke,” at 2 p.m. The theater will also show “Splice,” “Killers,” “Get Him to the Greek,” “Iron Man 2,” “Sex & the City 2,” “Letters to Juliet,” “Prince of Persia,” “Robin Hood” and “Shrek Forever After” in 3D.
To kick off the grand opening, the theater will host a trivia event today from 6:30-8:30 p.m., give away prize packs and offer a bag puppet coloring contest for children.
The opening of the theater follows a handful of businesses that have cropped up at the intersection in the past six years.
The Paradise Shoppes of Warner Robins, which includes Publix and other several other businesses, opened its doors in November 2004. Lowe’s opened in August 2006 next to the site of the theater. Mellow Mushroom, a pizzeria, opened in January 2009 across the street.
Shane’s Rib Shack will open at a shopping center across Lake Joy from Publix in July, according to Trinette Rosales, co-owner of the restaurant.
Preparations for that have included interviewing about 200 job applicants between Wednesday and today and planning a grand opening event in the coming weeks.
Though she had considered two other sites in Warner Robins for Shane’s Rib Shack, Rosales said she ultimately chose to set up the restaurant near the Little League Southeast Park and other businesses in the area.
“By far, it’s the best location, especially with what’s around us,” Rosales said.
Kinetix Health Club, which already has locations on Watson Boulevard in Warner Robins, as well as in Macon, may also open a new location near the intersection in the future to meet growing demand from customers who live off of Ga. 96, said Jason Banks, general manager of the club’s Warner Robins location.
For now, no ground will be broken on a new building yet until more growth happens at the existing facility in Warner Robins.
“We’re waiting for growth in the area,” Banks said. “Everything’s growing that way, but we’re not to the point where we can invest in a $10 million health club — yet.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.