New movie theater nears completion, In Athens

ATHENS-The opening of a new movie theater in Athens is nearing with local residents eagerly waiting the opening date announcement.

That opening date announcement is expected to come in the middle of September.

You may remember the movie theater on Congress Parkway by Belk’s Department Store. It has been closed for several years, leaving the closest theaters to Monroe County in West Knoxville, Maryville and Cleveland.

Spectrum Electric of Sweetwater is the contractor for the remodel and expansion of the old theater.

“Everything will be new,” Spectrum Electric’s Cody Phillips said in January when he sat down with The Advocate & Democrat for an early update on the project. “We have gutted the old the building.”

New space will be added for the lobby instead of having people stand out in the rain for tickets, Phillips said.

The old two-screen theater will be expanded to hold five screen rooms of varying seating sizes. Phillips said the various sizes will allow the building to be used for meeting rooms in addition to the movies.

Phillips stressed the revamped theater will have the latest technology. There will be no theater in Knoxville or anywhere that will have better technology when it comes to the latest screen and sound technology, Phillips said.

Once the new theater in Athens opens, it will have a palace theme, according to those in charge of its development.

Kavitha Reddy, daughter of the theater’s owner, Sekhar Reddy, said that the theme of the theater is dictating everything else in regard to the building’s construction. 

“The theme reflects our commitment to providing the community with a state-of-the-art luxury theater,” Reddy told The Daily Post-Athenian. “This is more than a new coat of paint.”

“Theater patrons will be surrounded by upscale amenities throughout the building,” she said.

As August moves along, the work on the project is very visible. The USA-made seats recently arrived sooner than expected and the beautiful castle theme is starting to take shape.

There is more than 20,000 feet of speaker wire in the theater rooms alone. In the largest theater room, the sound system used is available in only about 200 other theaters in the world.