Cinema grill plans $4.6M renovation of local theater

May 31, 2013
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                              smallA Dallas-based cinema grill is set to assume operations of the movie theater at College Park Plaza near West 86th Street and Michigan Road, and plans to spend $4.6 million to renovate the dated building. Studio Movie Grill has signed a 15-year lease with building owner Sandor Development Co. of Indianapolis and should be open in September. “We’re taking this building down to the studs,” company President Brian Schultz said. When finished, the theater should sport 13 screens, 1,800 seats, a full bar and a menu featuring appetizers, salads, entrees and pizzas. About 250 employees will be needed, said Schultz, who founded Studio Movie Grill nearly 20 years ago. The company shows first-run films and operates 12 locations in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina. Besides Indianapolis, Studio Movie Grill also plans to open this year in Columbus, Ohio. The local building housed the AMC Loews College Park 14 movie theater, which closed in July 2009. It’s been occupied the past two years by Movie Buff, an independent theater operated by Chicago native Leigh Friedman. He's worked out a deal with Studio Movie Grill to remain in the location until construction starts.

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  • Great!
    Glad to see that this theatre near my neighborhood is getting a facelift. However, without an IMAX screen, I doubt I'll be headed over there anytime soon.
  • Still hoping...
    I am hoping for an Alamo Drafthouse to open here someday http://drafthouse.com/
  • No confusion
    Not to be confused with the closed Cinema Grille at 86th & Ditch (a former Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema building).
  • bummer!
    I loved going to the Movie Buff! :( I'll miss the cheaper tickets option. If you could get past the stained seats and sticky floors, it was perfect.
  • Bye Movie Buff!
    Agree with PJ, Movie Buff was in terrible condition, but had great staff and was a great deal. I will miss supporting this local business. I'm sure the chain that replaces it will not offer the same deals for first-run movies. Still, I'm glad to see new development on this corner. It might help offset some of the damage done when Wal-Mart follows their standard pattern and abandons this location to move up to Zionsville.

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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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