Splitsville News

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Muviville: More Than Movies and Popcorn
  • Fredericksburg, VA

Muvico Entertainment finally has a name for the movie theater it plans to open by the end of the year near Spotsylvania Towne Centre.

The Fort Lauderdale-based company and its partner, Tampa-based Splitsville Luxury Lanes and Dinner Lounge, have blended their names and concepts to create the Muviville Entertainment Complex.

Construction is expected to begin this spring on a site fronting Interstate 95 that’s located between the Village at Towne Centre and the newly opened Residence Inn. The 12-screen, all stadium-seat theater with 14 bowling lanes will have a dance floor, party rooms and upscale bars and lounges.

“The world of theater exhibition is changing rapidly due to changes in technology and other forms of competing entertainment,” said Muvico Theaters CEO and President Michael Whalen. “It is not good enough to offer just movies, popcorn, and soda to our guests.”

Muviville will have two entrances, including one for the box office for Muvico’s 12 all-digital theaters with Sony 4K super-definition digital projection and stadium seating. The other will be for Splitsville, which will divide its bowling alleys into two sections and tuck other amenities such as a bar, dining area and dance lounge between them.

There’ll also be a “digital den” where teens can play “Guitar Hero” and other video games.

Muviville’s theaters will have wall-to-wall screens, and several will be able to broadcast concerts and sporting events as well as 3-D movies.

Adults seeking a romantic date night can go up to the second floor, where three of the 12 auditoriums will be for reserved for patrons ages 21 and over. They’ll feature reserved balcony seating with oversized “love seats,” complimentary valet parking, free popcorn and a VIP lounge and bar.

“The kids can be downstairs watching a movie and parents can be upstairs watching it while drinking a cocktail,” said Whalen.

Parking will be available both in the theater lot and in the mall’s spaces, which typically begin emptying as the evening shows start, he said.

Muviville’s bars, lounges and concession stands will serve both traditional movie fare as well as everything from sushi to such signature entrees as mahi mahi with voodoo shrimp. The menu was created by Tim Cushman, who was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 2008 “Best New Chefs.”

Splitsville also hired Kamehachi, a third-generation sushi house that City Search.com has named “Best Sushi Restaurant in Chicago” three times, to create its sushi rolls, sashimi and appetizers.

Splitsville co-founder Mark Gibson said the company upped the chain’s food and beverage offerings because it found people loved to bowl but didn’t always enjoy a traditional bowling alley or its offerings.

Muvico Theaters currently operates 14 theaters with 259 screens in Florida, Maryland, Illinois and Tennessee with 800 additional screens in various stages of development. Splitsville has three locations in Florida and Texas.

[LINK: January 28, 2009 by Cathy Jett]