BELLINGHAM - Regal Cinemas will open its Barkley theater with three days of big discounts, but that opening also means the closure of two of its other Bellingham locations.
The company intends to close its theaters at Sunset Square and Sehome but will keep open the theater at Bellis Fair mall, said Rachel Lueras, Regal marketing manager. Lueras said at this point she doesn't know the closure dates of the two Bellingham theaters or the grand opening date of the Barkley 16-screen theater, but she expects to have those dates finalized in the coming weeks.
Regal will have a series of special preview events to show off its new theater in the three days prior to the grand opening. On those three days, tickets and concession items will be $2 each, so someone who purchases a ticket, soda and popcorn will pay $6. All of the money raised each day will go to a local charity. The three charities slated for the donations have yet to be determined.
"It (the soft opening event) is a way for the community to come in and see what the new theater looks like," said Lueras, who toured the facility last week.
While Regal hasn't set a grand opening date for the Barkley theater, Lueras said construction is moving along on schedule. If it continues to do so, the opening should take place sometime before Christmas.
From the time the new theater project was announced in November 2010, many residents have speculated on what might become of Regal's other Bellingham theaters. Lueras said the factors that weighed heavily in staying at Bellis Fair were the amount of foot traffic the mall receives and its family-friendly atmosphere.
She said the company is not yet sure how it will use Bellis Fair's six screens once Barkley is open. It's possible the Bellis Fair theater could be geared toward family-oriented movies or show movies also being played at Barkley.
"It certainly gives us more options," Lueras said.
Seating in Barkley's new theater will vary. The IMAX screen, for example, will have 390 seats. Regal also will have a large screen for its own 3D technology, called the Regal Premium Experience.
The theater building is 68,000 square feet, similar to the nearby Barkley Haggen store.
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