PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The new owners of Pine Bluff’s only movie theater are racing to finish renovations in time for a soft opening this week.
The renamed Saracen Cinema 8 at the Pines Mall is closed while crews work on repairs and upgrades.
“Things will get better we’re just getting started,” said Co-Owner Okorie Ezieme.
When Ezieme along with Steven B. Mays Jr. bought into the theater a couple months ago, they knew the space hadn’t recently had the best reputation.
“We focused on every negative information we received,” Ezieme explained. “We heard them loud and clear and we have been able to get in and make adjustments to resolve those issues.”
Under the old management, customer complaints ranged from cleanliness to picture quality. Mays says that will all be in the past.
“A lot of cleaning to make sure you’re in a sanitized environment,” he said. “You’re coming in see a high quality movie and you’re going to get your money’s worth.”
The pair is making progress on what they call needed repairs. On top of new equipment the theater is now handicap accessible and has safety lighting both inside and in the parking lot. Plans are in the works to add VIP seating, a bar and expand the concessions menu.
“Once upon a time we had 2 or 3 theaters here in Pine Bluff, so everyone knows it’s time and we deserve it,” Mays added.
Saracen Cinema 8 is planning to hold a soft open Friday.