Friday, May 18, 2007

Surprise Pointe Gets a Movie Theater!

My fellow Surprise residents, we are finally getting a movie theater!  Granted, I am a fairly new Surprise resident having moved to the city only 2 years ago.  But having lived in the Glendale/Peoria area for most of my life, I was used to having multiple theaters within a 10-minute drive.  So, when we moved to Surprise, the first thing that we noticed was the long drive to watch a movie.  That really cuts into the entertainment budget when you have to account for an extra hour (round-trip) for babysitting!  But alas, no longer will we need to fight the traffic on Bell Road east of Grand Ave. to get to the Arrowhead-area theaters.

UltraStar Cinema Theaters (out of Southern California) will be a part of a larger project known as Surprise Pointe which will be located on the southeast corner of Litchfield & Waddell.  Phase 1 - The Shoppes at Surprise Pointe breaks ground in May and will encompass 300 acres.  Not only will it include the 14 screen 2800 seat theater, but also will have other forms of entertainment such as a bowling alley and numerous restaurants and small shops.  Phase 1 should be ready by May 2008.

You may have noticed the recent signage near Litchfield Rd. and Bell Rd, however this is NOT the Surprise Pointe UltraStar Cinema.  Dickinson theaters out of Kansas City was supposed to have built that theater.  Surprise councilman Joe Johnson, whose district includes the land where the Dickinson theater should have been completed this past November 2006,  believes this signage may have been erected in reaction to the news of UltraStar's groundbreaking (stay tuned as I update this blog site with any news I get on the Dickinson theater project).

I browsed the Ultrastar Cinema Theater website and found some unique offers.  I don't know if any of these offers will be available at the Surprise location, but this is the standard at their Southern California locations.

  • Parent Movie Morning - typically a Tuesday morning 10/11 am showing. Specially tailored for moms & dads with young children (kids under 4 are FREE, but everyone 4+ $5.50).  This showing features: dimmed lights, reduced volume, stroller parking, & diaper changing facilities in the auditorium.  These are still first-run movies and are not limited to children's movies... in fact, the featured movies at the S. California locations as of today are Invisible, Fracture, Perfect Stranger, and Miss Potter.

  • Early-Bird Specials - basically it's the first matinee of every movie, everyday at a discount (discounted price varies per theater anywhere from $4.50 to $5.50, although this special is not offered at all locations.)

  • Discount Tuesdays - most movies (not including special engagements) at a discount all day/night on Tuesdays (long-time west valley residents will remember Valley West Mall's 50-cent Tuesday flicks!).  Prices are similar to the early-bird special, but also not offered at all locations.

One of the UltraStar Cinemas also offers a Reward Card - offered only at 1 of their theaters at this time... but works similarly to the AMC Moviewatcher card (earn points by watching movies and earn free popcorn, drinks, and movie admission.

Check back often as I follow up this article anytime new information is released!

To read an article about the UltraStar Cinema click here.

To read an article about the Dickinson Theater project click here.