Now Screening: Star Cinema Grill’s Redo in CityCentre

HOUSTON – (Realty News Report) – A change in owner-operators at CityCentre’s movie megaplex is bringing design renovations, technology upgrades and premium dining options to the flagship film venue. Plus a deep, deep cleaning.

The Renovation Design Vibe: ‘Modern, Luxury Deco’

Star Cinema Grill will kick off its top-to-bottom overhaul of former Studio Movie Grill on April 1. SMG’s final screening day was March 24.

The eight-screen, 850-seat property, built in 2009, occupies approximately 30,000 square feet within Midway’s burgeoning mixed-use development at Beltway 8 near Interstate 10.

While the cinema space renovation project is expected to wrap up in November 2024, public screenings resume — amid the phased makeover — on or before April 18.

In the interim, work will tackle the common areas and the major disruptive and messy elements, said Jason Ostrow, SCG development vice president. During the project, different areas will close for their refresh.

An in-house design team is behind the changes, inspired by high-end hospitality settings, he said. The vibe, executed in tones of mauve, burgundy and gold, should read “modern, luxury Deco.”

The pending project addresses changes in the movie-going public’s viewing habits, expansion of live screen events and theatrical experiences, and advancements in cutting-edge technology to accommodate the rising demands of animation and visual effects. The new equipment includes laser projection and Dolby Sound systems.

Private Viewing Pods w/ Massage Seats and Blankets

Among the hospitality-grade upgrades: sections of luxury seating with heated recliners, privacy pods with blankets, and massage seats.

Ostrow noted that the pods — implemented by the company in some of its other properties since 2018 — typically sell out first among seating choices. People like the relaxed setting, the extra amenities, and the privacy, which includes not hearing other viewers chewing and chatting, he said.

Other seating, much of which was previously replaced with ones that recline, will remain.

City Centre is the 10th location for locally-owned and operated Star Cinema Grill, which has 12 cinemas in Texas and Illinois. And it is the 13th dine-in cinema for SCG sister-company Culinary Khancepts, also Houston based.

Both ventures are excited about the new location.

“Houston is our hometown, and we are committed to delivering the ultimate dining and cinematic experience for all our guests for years to come,” said Omar Khan, president of Culinary Khancepts. The company’s brands include Hollywood Palms Cinema, Reel Luxury Cinemas, and the well-known Houston staples, Liberty Kitchen and State Fare Kitchen and Bar.

Its iconic River Oaks Theatre, shuttered in 2021, is slated to open later this year.

Ostrow said that project will be worth the wait. The project team appreciates the touchstone role the movie theater has with so many Houstonians.

America Has 38,400 Movie Screens

Both SCG projects retain movie screens in a time of their decline. In the US, the number of movie screens has dropped from 41,172 in 2019 to 38,400 in 2023, a report by The Cinema Foundation determined. That doesn’t include drive-ins.

Despite intense competition, the global movie theater market is estimated at nearly $70 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach $95 billion in the next five years, according to Modor Intelligence industry analysis.

Studio Movie Grill remains active in the Houston market, with a 12-screen location in Pearland, as well as properties elsewhere in Texas, plus California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

At the 47-acre CityCentre in West Houston, Midway recently broke ground on CityCentre Six, a 19-story, 320,000-SF office tower that will have Dow Chemical as its anchor tenant.


March 28, 2024 Realty News Report Copyright 2024

Rendering – courtesy Star Cinema Grill

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File: Now Screening: Star Cinema Grill’s Redo in CityCentre

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