Thursday, June 26, 2003

Theater debuting Friday

Rave draw at The Streets

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Rave Motion Pictures West Chester 18 opens Friday, bringing 3,996 stadium-style seats to the area.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
WEST CHESTER TWP. - For years, Jenine Zieverink has endured miles of heavy traffic as she hauled her four teenagers to the nearest cinemas in Warren and Hamilton counties.

But Friday, she'll have a 10-minute drive when West Chester's first movie multiplex - with 3,996 stadium-style seats - opens at a new "lifestyle center" at Union Centre Boulevard and Interstate 75.

"It looks really classy, and we're thrilled," Zieverink, 42, said. "I think I will take my kids to the movies more. Right now, parents call each other and say 'Who's picking up?'

"But this is right down the street from all of us. When it's five minutes away, you have a tendency to say, 'Let's get in the car and go.' "

One of the Tristate's few stadium-style seat theaters, Rave Motion Pictures West Chester 18 opens its doors at 11:45 a.m. Friday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The theater is expected to provide a strong lure for restaurants and businesses in the Union Centre area.

"It is the finest theater that has been built in Cincinnati," claims David Kass, president of Continental Retail Development of Columbus, which built the $100 million lifestyle center complex, called The Streets of West Chester.

So far, one restaurant has opened, Champps Americana Restaurant & Bar. The second, Cucina Bravo Italiana, could open July 15, and more are coming, along with shops and a community ice skating rink and park.

West Chester Trustee Catherine Stoker said Streets has more than lived up to the township's expectations.

About 150 trees have been planted in the parking lot so the complex isn't a sea of asphalt.

"This is going to be a destination site for thousands of people around our area," Stoker said.

Champps has been packed every day since it opened last week. The restaurant also has received more than 1,000 applications for just 160 jobs.

Champps general manager Chris Long expects business to boom once the theater opens and more businesses begin operations.

"We'll certainly be a good complement for each other, dinner and a movie-type situation," Long said Tuesday.

The 18 theaters range from 124 to 470 seats, with digital surround sound. Ticket prices are comparable or even a little cheaper than some other cinemas - $8 for adults in the evenings with reduced prices for students, seniors and matinees.


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