Walden's Landing & Phoenix Big Cinemas Announces Theatre Coming to Pigeon Forge

Feb 25, 2010, 14:38 ET from Phoenix Big Cinemas from ,Walden’s Landing

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Walden's Landing and Phoenix Big Cinemas are pleased to officially announce the development of a 5 screen, state-of-the-art movie theatre to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

(Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100225/CL61096 )

The yet-to-be-named theatre will feature 5 stadium seating auditoriums with a total of 632 seats located in the heart of the Pigeon Forge tourist area near the Great Smoky Mountains. The cinema will feature all digital projection, digital 3D and digital surround sound, to offer guests a state-of-the-art moviegoing experience. The theatre, located in Walden's Landing off of the Parkway in Pigeon Forge, is projected to open late summer 2010.

Pigeon Forge Cinemas is developing the theatre which will be managed by Phoenix Big Cinemas, a Knoxville based theatre management company.  Financing for the project will be provided by Citizens National Bank, a locally owned community bank with $825 million in assets.  The bank's headquarters are located in Sevierville with 18 branches serving Sevier, Jefferson, and Knox counties.

"Citizens National Bank has always taken an active role in financing the growth of our market area," says David C. Verble, the bank's President and CEO. "The development of the movie theatre at Walden's Landing will provide jobs for residents and additional tourist business for the county." 

The project has already led to positive reactions from the community and Pigeon Forge businesses.  "I have never been involved in a proposed project that has generated as much excitement and anticipation before construction has even started," said Ned Vickers, a developer for Holrob Investments and a partner in Walden's Landing and Pigeon Forge Cinemas. "I get questions about it everywhere I go.  I believe that people in the county are excited about having a new, state-of-the-art theatre in town."

The new theatre is also helping to drive business and additional growth to the area. Vickers commented, "The economic downturn has disproportionately hurt small businesses, and the merchants at Walden's Landing are no exception.  One of the reasons we decided to build this theater in Walden's Landing is to increase foot traffic in the mall and help our merchants.  We have already had an increase in leasing activity as news of the theater has leaked out."

In fact, the local Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchisee, Gibby Lepsig, said, "We instantly knew Walden's Landing was a great match for Five Guys but the icing on the cake was the opening of the new movie theater. We feel the theater will generate a great deal of energy for all the shops in Walden's Landing and ultimately made our decision to open our first Sevier County store a lot easier."  Five Guys will open in Walden's Landing in early May.

"We are absolutely thrilled about the new movie theater coming to our plaza," commented Pam McKay, owner of the Colour Bar and Spa in Walden's Landing. "The impact will be huge not only to us, but to the entire community.  There is a need for a new theater in the area for locals and tourists alike."

Though the development plans are moving quickly, the new theater does not yet have an official name. To help in this process and get the community involved, Vickers announced a contest for guests to name the new cinema. Beginning in March and continuing through the end of April, customers can register for tickets to the Grand Opening Premier at any Walden's Landing store by filling out a card suggesting a name for the theater.  A random drawing will be held from all entries with 50 pairs of tickets given out to the opening celebration of the cinema.  The person who suggests the winning name will also receive a year of free movies.

The Knoxville based company, Phoenix Big Cinemas, will manage the new cinema. "We are proud to help bring a state-of-the-art theatre to a new market. The popular tourist destination and community will now have a local destination for Hollywood entertainment, as well as, everything else Pigeon Forge has to offer," stated Phil Zacheretti, President and CEO.  "The theatre is situated in a terrific location and will make a great addition to the area." Phoenix Big Cinemas Management currently manages 24 theatres with a total of 178 screens in 15 states.

SOURCE Phoenix Big Cinemas; Walden’s Landing