The CineMark 12 Theatres replaces the aging Hampshire 6 Theaters, first closed nearly two years ago for renovations, then later demolished.
Constantly changing plans and broken agreements litter the theater’s history. Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC Theatres initially planned a two-story theater complex, to be built with the financial backing of Sears.
Because the design would add a story to the mall, the Pyramid Company, which owns the Hampshire Mall, had indicated that it would pay for a new fire truck for the town of Hadley.
When Sears backed out of the agreement, AMC Theatres also decided to abandon its plans. CineMark agreed to assume control over the construction of the theater early this year, but revised AMC’s plans, abandoning the two-story design in favor of the current stadium seating design. Because the design no longer called for a second story, the Pyramid Company withdrew its offer for a new fire truck for Hadley. The truck, however had already been ordered, and the town ultimately had to pay the cost.
CineMark was unable to secure building permits because of the controversy. Eventually, the town conceded.
Some students are looking forward to a large movie theater near campus.
“I heard the new theater will have stadium seating, which will be great because I won’t have to sit behind a tall freak,” said Tim Mak ’02.
A CineMark statement indicated that this is the only theater in Hampshire County to feature stadium seating in all of its auditoriums. The two largest auditoriums will seat 297, two will seat 289 people, and the two smallest theaters will seat 165. The remaining six will seat 175 each.
Syracuse, New York-based Sengra Construction was hired as contractor for the job, and, Dietz Construction of Easthampton is doing much of the work. Spring rains delayed work on the project until June.