Select Cinema’s Village 8 at 71st Street and Memorial Drive opened its doors July 31 to offer second-run movies to the Tulsa community and special pricing for ORU students.
“The whole idea is to try to get more of a first-run theater experience with the [second-run] movies,” said Blake Smith, owner of Village 8.
Smith took over the Cinemark Movies 8, located a block west of Woodland Hills Mall when Cinemark failed to renew its lease in May. The Tulsa entrepreneur began renovations the following month, replacing the screens and audio systems in the 28-year-old movie house with digital projectors and speakers.
“Your feet hopefully won’t stick to the floor. I mean, no theater is perfect, but I do believe we’ve upgraded the theater a lot,” Smith said.
Smith previously operated Riverwalk Movies, a first-run theater in Jenks that offered ORU students a discounted-ticket price and hosted Student Association’s annual “Hunger Games” premiere night. Smith exited Riverwalk Movies in February to avoid competition with an incoming multiplex at Tulsa Hills. He hopes his location and $2 tickets will draw large crowds of Tulsa residents – including college students.
Village 8 marks another change in Tulsa’s shifting theater landscape in the last few years. AMC Southroads 20 completed a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2013 with Cinemark Tulsa quickly following suit. The luxury 18-screen Warren Theater opened in Broken Arrow in December 2014. Construction on a new Carmike 12-plex in Tulsa Hills began last summer. Yet, Smith still sees an open place for a “Ma and Pa” second-run theater in a market dominated by big first-run chains.
Smith offers $1 tickets to ORU students who show their Eagle Card. Village 8 is located at 6808 S. Memorial and is open seven days a week. Smith is hiring: contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.