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Chapel Hill Wants Luxury Theater To Attract More Regional Business

An artist's rendering of the theater's facade planned for University Mall in Chapel Hill
Madison Marquette Retail Services

Leaders in Chapel Hill say they hope a luxury movie theater moving into a local mall will bring in more shoppers from out of town. 

Silverspot Cinema says it will open the facility with 13 theaters at University Mall in two years. 

The theater will replace Dillard's department store, which has been there since 1973.  Silverspot says it will offer leather chairs in the theaters, a lounge, and special screenings of live events like opera. 

Chapel Hill economic development director Dwight Bassett says the idea is to attract more shoppers for local businesses in the mall.

"There's got to be something that's driving you to go there, and then you experience the other things that are there," Bassett says.

"I think that's where U-Mall is headed, with the additions of what's been moving in recently as well as this theater and A Southern Season, it begins to create that specialty niche shopping opportunity that we haven't seen in Orange County."

Silverspot is spending $7 million to turn the Dillard's into a theater.  Evening screenings will cost moviegoers $16.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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