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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Sep. 23, 202105:10 AM EST

Cinemark executive: Jacksonville ‘a fantastic movie town’

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The theater chain opened in Atlantic North on Sept. 16.

A Cinemark Holdings Inc. senior executive says Jacksonville likes its flicks.

“You guys are a fantastic movie town,” said Chanda Brashears, senior vice president of investor relations, public relations and corporate communications.

“We have really loved serving the Jacksonville movie-goers. They are eager to go to the theater,” she said Sept. 16 as the 14-screen Cinemark Jacksonville Atlantic North and XD opened at northwest Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.

Brashears bases her comments on the fact that this is the third area theater for Plano, Texas-based Cinemark.

“We have seen great support from the Jacksonville community,” said a spokeswoman.

Cinemark operates the 20-screen Cinemark Tinseltown at 4535 Southside Blvd. and the 12-screen Cinemark Durbin Park at 435 Durbin Pavilion Drive at The Pavilion at Durbin Park in St. Johns County.

“We have a very strong reputation in the region,” Brashears said.

The Atlantic North theater at 11567 Atlantic Blvd. seats 1,376 among its auditoriums and employs 120 people.

Cinemark announced the theater in March 2019 and expected it would open in summer 2020.

Cinemark Jacksonville Atlantic North and XD at 11567 Atlantic Blvd. seats 1,376 among its auditoriums and employs 120 people.

Brashears said Cinemark delayed the opening because of COVID-19, which led to restrictions in March 2020. 

“The entire world was shut down,” Brashears said. Theaters began reopening about a year after the closings.

Brashears said Cinemark “has been safely operating for well over a year,” phasing its openings starting in June 2020.

Brashears said Cinemark intends to open three theaters this year in the U.S., comprising Jacksonville and one each in Texas and California.

It also plans to open three in South and Central America.

She said Cinemark continued its health and air quality standards and protocols.

Brashears said the theater features allow for spacing with the Luxury Loungers, advanced reserved seating, lobby kiosks for tickets, staggered showtimes and the option of prepayment for concessions to be delivered to the seats.

Auditoriums are cleaned between shows.

Brashears said another feature is the Jacksonville mural above the concession counter.

“We really try to embrace the locality,” she said. 

“This one is really stunning.”

Cinemark said its creative team conceptually designed the mural, gathering feedback from local Cinemark employees about which Jacksonville landmarks and locations should be included.

The panels show area bridges, buildings, water and watersports.

The theater includes a Cinemark XD auditorium, which the company describes as a premium format with the largest wall-to-wall screen in the building and multichannel surround sound.

Brashears said Cinemark works closely with developers.

In East Arlington, Cinemark worked with Jacksonville-based Sleiman Enterprises, which is completing the two phases of Atlantic North. 

Cinemark anchors the second phase.

Brashears said she and her family, including two young children, are movie fans, and she enjoys the lack of distractions in theaters.

She attends “as often as I can.”

“I absolutely love going to the theater.” 

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