Office (301) 632-6320 Fax (301) 632-6323

Friday, November 4, 2011

Xscape Theatres Coming to Brandywine

UPDATE 1/23/13:  Theater will be called Xscape and Xtreme scape featuring two premium auditoriums with premium sound and images.  It is owned by Aliance Entertainment
UPDATE: 3/12/13 New Website  

UPDATE: 4/19/2013 Theater pushing for a May 1st opening if not sooner.
UPDATE: 4/26/2013 Theater is now open
7710 Matapeake Business Drive
Brandywine, MD 20613
Information: 301-909-7660 Movie Line: 301-909-7654

We have no affiliation with the company.  Please do not call for applications go directly to their site.


Chad said...

Yay! When will they be breaking ground?

Chris Shasho said...

They will need a few months to go thru the permit process, I would say you will see dirt move around starting february.

Anonymous said...

What happened with Bowtie Cinemas?

Chris Shasho said...

They just pulled out. Couldn't agree on terms.

Anonymous said...

This is horrible news. This chain is not a positive addition. They typically build in lower populated areas without any competitors so their locations are poorly run, understaffed on purpose, and the materials they use in building is cheap. For example they leave their floors in the auditoriums unfinished so you are directly on concrete instead of painted finished floors. They also do not care about little things like presentation or maintenance. It's really unfortunate that another chain didn't decide to go in here and give the area a more positive addition. It might be nice to have a new theatre but they will not maintain it and it's going to be a huge disappointment.

Chris Shasho said...

Let's put a positive spin on this. Ever since there was a plan for this new theatre, AMC has had a plan to fix up the existing one by the mall. Whenever the theatre deal went away they would pull their plan. Now that this one is happening again AMC has to put up or shut up and remodel the mall theatre. So far I havent seen any negative reviews on this new theatre in other areas. We will see how things go but for now im calling it a win because we will get a refurb on AMC along with a new theatre.

Anonymous said...

The theatre by the mall is in horrible shape. When it was run by Loews prior the the AMC merger they didn't take care of it. Loews wasn't taking care of things like the HVAC system and they removed sprinklers from the fire alarm system. Also the design of the theatre by the mall from an operations standpoint is not very efficient. Two small bathrooms, two concession stands on either side of the lobby, theatre's on all sides without any room for lines while people are waiting. The box office is too small and the entrace isn't large enough to accomodate the crowds. There are tons of reasons why it's not beneficial to remodel the unit and it would be better to replace it. AMC in the past typically did not remodel - they usually replaced the unit. They wanted to do this to the location by the mall however they wanted to build a new unit attached to the mall and they couldn't come to an agreement with the landlord. I know the landlord was pushing them to remodel (stadium seating, additional screens, etc) even at the landlord's cost but the current setup of the theatre didn't really allow for that to go off well. Recently AMC did a remodel in Seattle, Washington involving a 12 screen theatre by putting in new reclining seats. They did this because it was a large theatre running at about half capacity. They doubled their attendance at this location by doing this. I know they are looking at doing this in other locations since it went off so well.

This new company going in usually targets areas where there isn't competition. When there is competition they react by cutting things like staffing levels and not taking care of their buildings the way that a larger chain would. Previously when building new locations they would use 20 year old used projection equipment that would fail freqeuntly because they wouldn't spend the money to maintain it. If a competitor opened nearby it would take a significant portion of their business because of all the problems that they wouldn't resolve.

If AMC remodels or replaces the unit by the mall, they might not even want to build the location at Brandywine. This other company usually doesn't like to deal with competition so they can reduce guest service and not have to maintain their building properly knowing that people keep coming because there is nowhere else for them to go.

It would be great if AMC does remodel the existing theatre (even better if they replace it). A new AMC is worlds ahead of what a new Great Escape would be. This area could support a 14 screen theatre. I don't know if it could support two major theatres at the same time though. It's much better to have one inside of Waldorf instead of outside. Also I suspect that if AMC wasn't interested in maintaining a presence here they wouldn't have replaced the road sign that was knocked out. One of the reasons why they haven't done major things to the theatre here is because there really isn't a point if they are going to replace it.

So we'll see what happens but I suspect that we will have something happen at the AMC by the mall regardless of what happens in Brandywine. I believe this is something like the fifth time someone else has wanted to put a theatre in the Waldorf area. Waldorf marketplace was one, Waldorf Town Center by Peterson was two, and now we are on the third possibility at Brandywine.

The theatre by the mall often does really well and there are a lot of sellouts. When this happens it's beneficial to add more capacity and the best way to do that is to build a new theatre. If stadium seating is added to the existing theatre they will lose seating capacity. So even if they add 3 screens it won't see a significant increase in attendance levels. That's also a reason why it's important to look at building new instead of remodeling.

Chris Shasho said...

Im going to find out what amcs plan was and when they go back in for plan approvals I will let you know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for always looking out for us Chris! It's nice to have someone willing to share information. So often in this county there aren't any signs up when someone is building new. I just hope you know how much we appreciate it!

Waldorfmom said...

Thanks for the update Chris! The new theater is great news.

Aside from this you know of any plans for the old Waldorf Restaurant/Motel site on rt. 301? (The old Rips location). The building is quite an eye sore at this point. I hope that there are future plans for that site. Thanks :)

Chris Shasho said...

I really appreciate the comments. It's alot of time spent researching to get these updates out.
As far as the Waldorf Hotel, no plans as of now. We know the owners and nothing is in the works.

HarrisM said...

I agree with Anonymous and Waldorfmom. You are definitely the most reliable source of information. The county officials and even the local newspaper dont provide relevant commercial activity data. Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

Well it looks like the AMC renovation is going on and will be done by next summer. This is good news because the company that is planning to put the theatre in Brandywine is second rate in every way. Great Escape Theatres gets scared off pretty easily by competitors so it will be interesting to see if they end up pulling out. Attendance will probably increase for AMC so it wouldn't surprise me to see them add screens at some point.

Check this press release out:

press release

Dec. 7, 2011, 3:45 p.m. EST
AMC Loews St. Charles Towne Center 9 to Receive VIP Renovation
Waldorf, Md. AMC location to receive upgraded amenities, including seating and concession area

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec 07, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AMC Theatres(R) (AMC) is proud to announce plans for a significant renovation of the AMC Loews St. Charles Towne Center 9, providing a significantly upgraded moviegoing experience to guests in the greater Waldorf, Md., area.

AMC will invest more than $4.5 million on the renovations, which will provide enhanced presentation quality for guests, as every auditorium will be converted to a Sony 4K digital projection experience and feature state-of-the-art speakers. Other modifications to the theatre include a renovation of the theatre's restrooms, as well as changes to the box office and lobby area. Guests will also enjoy movies from new power leather recliners on platforms, as well as an upgraded concession area.

"The renovations and the amenities we're adding will elevate the AMC Loews St. Charles Towne Center 9 theatre to one of the nicest in the nation," said Mark McDonald, executive vice president of Global Development at AMC. "From the seating to the concession area to the movie presentation, everything will be state-of-the-art."

AMC is also evaluating the possibility of adding an IMAX auditorium.

"We're always looking to enhance St. Charles Towne Center for our loyal shoppers," said Stephanie Mosier, mall manager. "We are thrilled with the renovation at the AMC Loews St. Charles Towne Center 9 and see it as a complement to our property and the great and growing market we serve."

The theatre will remain open during the conversion, and the auditorium, restroom, lobby and concession area renovations are expected to be complete by the summer of 2012.

About Simon Property Group

Simon Property Group, Inc. is an S&P 500 company and the largest real estate company in the U.S. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 391 retail real estate properties comprising 261 million square feet of gross leasable area in North America, Europe and Asia. Simon Property Group is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. The Company's common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol SPG. For further information, visit the Simon Property Group website at .

About AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 351 theatres with 5,083 screens across the United States and Canada. The company operates 20 of the 50 highest grossing theatres in the country, including the top three. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage and diverse content. .

SOURCE: AMC Theatres

Chris Shasho said...

This is great information, glad to see things are happening as we figured they would once the Brandywine location was announced. I appreciate you sharing it with us.

HarrisM said...

This is great news! A little competition always moves things forward:)

Anonymous said...

01-13-2012 10:34 PM Central (GMT -6:00) (11:34 PM Local)
Looks like the 4 year old Great Escapes 14 Plex at the Harrisburg Mall in Harrisburg PA will probably be closing at the end of this month. I guess thats what happens when you way overscreen a market:

Great Escapes Harrisburg 14 Closing?

Will the screens be going dark soon at Great Escape 14 in the Harrisburg Mall?

That could hinge on the outcome of a financial battle being waged between the mall’s owner and the theater operator in Dauphin County Court.

Maine-based mall owner COBA Inc. is contending that Ragains Enterprises LLC, the theater’s operator, is more than $1 million behind in its rent.

COBA is not only demanding payment of that money, but in a breach of lease complaint is asking the court to bar Ragains from carrying out an alleged threat to close the 4-year-old theater and yank out its projectors.

Although the theater, one of the midstate’s largest, was still operating as of Friday, COBA in its lawsuit has voiced fear that a closure of the 14-screen theater would cripple customer traffic at the mall in Swatara Township.

According to COBA, Ragains officials have threatened to close the theater this month if COBA refuses to modify the lease terms and forgive the rent arrearages.

COBA is so concerned about that prospect that it asked Judge Lawrence F. Clark Jr. for an injunction to bar Ragains from removing equipment, particularly its digital projection gear.

Clark didn’t grant an injunction, but he has issued an order giving both sides until Jan. 21 to start talking “for the purpose of attempting to reach an amicable resolution of this dispute.”

COBA and Ragains must give him a status report by Jan. 25.

Meanwhile, Clark has barred Ragains from closing the theater or removing equipment without first giving him and COBA written notice at least seven days in advance of such an act.

Ragains is an affiliate of Alliance Entertainment, which is based in the state of Indiana and is the 23rd-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., with about 300 theaters in several states.

Attempts to reach Chance Ragains, chief operating officer of Alliance, and Scranton attorney Eugene F. Hickey II, who is listed in court papers as representing the theater operator, for comment on the lease dispute were not successful.

The Great Escapes franchise has operated at the 43-year-old mall since November 2007. COBA claims the lease requires Ragains to show first-run movies continuously at the mall for at least 10 years.

Its original lease for the 52,600-square-foot theater was with prior mall owner Feldman Lubert Adler Harrisburg LP, which lost the property in sheriff’s sale to creditor TD Bank of Toronto, Canada, in December 2008 after defaulting on a $52.5 million mortgage. The bank sold the mall to COBA in mid-2009.

According to court filings, the original theater lease with Feldman called for Ragains to pay a minimum of $789,345 a year, or nearly $66,000 a month, plus a percentage of gross annual sales at the theater once those sales exceeded $6 million.

COBA said TD Bank modified the lease in June 2009 to give Ragains a temporary reduction. That modification pared the annual minimum rent to $250,000, or just shy of $21,000 monthly.

That reprieve expired in April 2010, COBA claims, but Ragains didn’t resume making its full rent payments. The arrearage, including late fees, now is at least $1.013 million, the mall owner contends.

COBA claims it doesn’t know how much more rent the theater operator might actually owe under the lease provision that requires additional payment based on the theater’s gross receipts.

Ragains won’t provide it with those revenue figures, COBA contends.

Chris Shasho said...

Thanks for the information, The landlords in Brandywine are not concerned.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, your comments make me believe you have worked at a theatre before?

Anonymous said...

Going on 30 year's.
When the number's just do not add up you should not
do it. That's why Bowtie said NO THANKSSSS.

Anonymous said...

Why such a distaste or Great Escape then Anonymous? You seem very pro-AMC and anti-GE. Usually you see people bashing the larger chains the way you choose to bash one of the smaller ones in GE.

Would you care if it was a Regal?

Some of your comments make me wonder if you were to run a business would you consider things when building a theatre such as why the floors might be left unfinished? Clearly if you carpeted an auditorium, you most likely wouldn't see a soda spill, yet alone clean it properly in the timeframe you may possibly have, and when a customer slips on that spill no one could see, gets severely injured, and sues you into the ground, you would have wondered why you were so concerned with carpet cosmetics over a safety issue of being able to actually see and clean a spill or pretty looking carpet and constant replacement and cleaning.

I just felt your comments were not very well thought out and came off a bit mean-spirited.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you know anything about this chain. I did all wall finishes in the one built in Scranton Pa and can assure you floors are finished and matinance is up to date.
This project should provide your community with a beautiful new addition.

Anonymous said...

Since no movie theater in southern Maryland appears to be courageous enough to show "2016: Obama's America" we are questioning whether your theater will have any. Would something so obviously unpopular with the majority in the local community still be made available for the substantial minority?

Chris Shasho said...

You will have to ask great escape. We only announce what's coming.

Anonymous said...

I am currently an assistant mgr at a great escape theater in the st louis area. This is a Very good chain especially if you are getting a new theater! I am at a newer one and we have all digital projections, very nice theater rooms (no bare floors or walls like said)every thing from the entrance to the bathroom is clean and very tasteful. not like a typical theater. I would say its a bit more "classy" not to mention our theater has won and been nominated for top theater is St. Louis every year for 4 years we have been open. Dont listen to anyone who says this chain is bad news. When this new theater is complete i promise you will not be disappointed with it!!

Mark Czajka said...

Can you push them to install a few electric car charging stations like other new businesses in our area are doing, such as MOM's? People with electric cars like to shop and spend money where they can charge their cars. The area by the theaters would be an excellent location for a hub of 4-6 charging stations.

Mark Czajka
MD Volt Inc.

Chris Shasho said...

I am happy to make the suggestion Mark. I have also asked other builders in the area to consider it.

Anonymous said...

Where do yo go to find job openings for this location?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone able to start putting in job application for the movie theater. If so where can I apply at?? I am very much interested.

Anonymous said...

when i try to apply online, at the end of the application when it wants you to pick the movie theatre the one in brandywine that is being built does not come up. do i have to wait until it is actually open ?

Chris Shasho said...

There was a misunderstanding with who owns this theater. Even though everywhere on line it says that regal bought all the great escape theaters, this one is owned by Aliance so do not contact Regal about it. They just keep saying they will have someone on site to take applications shortly. There is no site I can direct you to at this time. As I hear more I will let everyone know.

alexis lancaster said...

How do you apply?

Chris Shasho said...

There is no website yet. You can try Monday Feb 11th they should have someone on site.

Anonymous said...

They have applications now at the theater! I stopped by and got one today at the small trailer on the side.

Chris Shasho said...

Thanks I was hoping someone would let me know.

G. Young said...

The manager there today said they have a Facebook page now, and that will serve for info until the website is done. Nice guy.

Chris Shasho said...

Thanks for the update.

chbz said...

Have you been able to locate the FB page?

Chris Shasho said...

I have posted it on the blog. Go to the newer posts.

Anonymous said...

I put in a application a few weeks ago and was wondering when they will start calling about the job?

Chris Shasho said...

We have no involvement You will have to check their Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

It is great the Brandywine and Waldorf is getting more entertainment however my issue will be the TRAFFIC!!! Is there anything being planned to widen the roads?

Chris Shasho said...

No plan for road upgrades yet. From what I have heard the county put a halt on any new construction that has not already been thru the system while they come up with a plan.