By NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Memphis-based Malco Theatres has acquired the closed 10-screen movie theatre and outdoor amphitheater, formerly called The Amp, in the Oxford Commons development at Highway 7 and Sisk Avenue.
Malco officials say they also will acquire adjacent property from Kenlan Development Co. to double the size of the building, converting it to a Family Entertainment Center including the theatre and amphitheater, a 26-lane bowling center with a boutique bowling area, a bar and restaurant, birthday party and event rooms and a redemption game area featuring a laser maze and bumper cars.
Malco already operates the Malco Studio Cinema, an eight-screen theater complex in the Oxford Mall on West Jackson Avenue.
“We are very excited about the second location and look forward to both theaters being an integral part of the Oxford community for many, many years to come,” said Karen Scott, the company’s marketing director. “The additional screens in the market will allow Malco to offer a wide range of independent, foreign and smaller films that it was not previously able to show in Oxford. Also, the digital projection systems will enable Malco to show concerts, operas, live theater and sporting events.”
The former Amp will be remodeled with all new rocking chair seats, upgraded sound systems, and new state-of-the-art digital projection. Company officials say the theater portion of the project will open by Labor Day. When completed next year, the total theater/bowling/family entertainment center will employ approximately 100 people.
Oxford Commons is a 480-acre planned unit development. The theater was intended to be the hub of an “off-Square Square” that would combine entertainment, dining, retail shops, professional offices and residential development when it began in the latter 2000s. With a slow economy, however, development has been slower than originally anticipated. Besides the theater, which was open only a few months, it is home to the Oxford Conference Center and National Guard Armory, a Wendy’s restaurant, one school and another under construction and one hotel and another under construction.
Lance Forsdick Jr. of Kenlan Development is very excited by the announcement.
“Malco’s plan for the theatre and family entertainment center … should generate a renewed interest in the area for retail and restaurant development. We are glad to see the Malco theater finally becoming the centerpiece of an exciting new area of town that promises to offer more eating, shopping and entertainment options for the entire region.”