The movie theater at the Pines Mall has been sold, and renovations will begin soon, including the construction of a bar.
According to a Facebook post on the Pines Mall’s official page, Rain Investments LLC has purchased the movie theater there.
The theater will be renamed Saracen Cinema 8, according to the post, and Steven B. Mays Jr. will serve as the chief operating officer. Okorie Ezieme will serve as the chief financial officer.
Judy Vu, who owns the mall, said in the Facebook post that she is “very confident that the new owners have the experience and support to turn things around.”
In a comment on the mall’s Facebook post, Mays wrote: “We would like to thank Ms. Vu for the opportunity to take the theatre to the next level. We promise to provide a better choice of entertainment to serve the local community. Little Rock will be the second option.”
The post says that the 900-seat theater will receive upgrades that “will improve the experience and make this venue a destination for adults, seniors and children. Some of the upgrades will be the addition of a bar and modern seating. Plans are set for Saracen Cinema 8 to open early August. Pines Cinema 8 will remain open during the renovations.
The Facebook post drew hundreds of comments.
Jennifer McCaslin-Baxter wrote: “I sincerely hope that you can make this work! I hate my kids driving to LR for a movie. Best of luck and we'll be waiting for you to reopen!”
LaShonda Culclager wrote: “This is a great start, and it won’t happen overnight. It’ll take time to accomplish but I do believe these men will make it happen. You have to start somewhere so rather the negative vibes from those that are being that way, let's find out what we can do to help, rather helping to clean etc. Pine Bluff can be the gorgeous place again. Congrats and thank you for stepping out on faith and investing in this!!!”
The theater closed for a brief time in 2016 when the lease between the mall and Carmike Cinemas ran out. When it re-opened under Vu’s leadership, there were many complaints about the quality and upkeep of the theater.
Attempts to contact Vu for this article were unsuccessful.
For tickets, visit www.fandango.com or www.movietickets.com. Details: Call (870) 619-1151.