July 15 09:07 PM

Film to roll again at Imlay theater

Cinema III to reopen next month as 'Imlay City Cinemas'

November 19, 2008
IMLAY CITY — Dim the lights, tilt back in your chairs and focus your attention to the large screen in front of you.

By mid-December, area movie buffs will no longer have to drive long distances to view first-run films.

With the sale last week of the former Cinema III Theater to businessman Remo Querciagrossa, residents can soon enjoy the latest films in a completely refurbished movie theater.

On Friday, workers were replacing the building's 20-year-old roof, upgrading the concession area and adding fresh paint to the interior and exterior.

Remo Querciagrossa displays some of the upgraded equipment at the cinema in Imlay City. photo by Tom Wearing.

A resident of Macomb Township, Querciagrossa and his family members have been in the movie theater business for the past 30 years. He anticipates that past and new customers will like what they see when the theater reopens, tentatively set for Fri., Dec. 12.

Along with ongoing physical improvements and equipment upgrades, the theater will undergo a name change.

"We're renaming it 'Imlay City Cinemas,' which allows for further expansion if the market allows," says Querciagrossa. "Our intention is to become a longterm member of the local community.

"This is a great building and a great location," he says. "There's plenty of property and a lot of room for growth. We'd love to add more screens in the future. But that would rely on how well we're supported.

The total seating in the existing three theaters is about 900 people, says Querciagrossa, with the largest screen accommodating around 330 customers. He says customers will be treated to improved sound and visual quality.

"Both the sound and projection systems have been upgraded," he says. "The projectors have higher wattage bulbs for a clearer, sharper picture. The heating and cooling systems have been rebuilt and everything will be clean and fresh inside."

Querciagrossa says he plans to be creative and is open to ideas and suggestions from the community.

Some new ideas being discussed are offering gift certificates, Saturday matinees, birthday parties for children, special film showings for school or church groups, and Spanish-speaking features on Sundays.

He says the theater will accept debit and credit cards for admission, as well as cash. A Web site is under construction where customers can access movie times and other information.

"We'll have the same first-run films as the big movie houses, but we'll be less costly," says Querciagrossa. "We want to be price-sensitive. We want to be a place where you can bring your whole family and be able to afford it."

Assuming the volume of business warrants it, he hopes to employ 12-15 people, including managers, ushers and concession workers.

"If the demand is there, we'll increase those numbers," notes Querciagrossa. "Our goal is to reach out to Imlay City and all of the surrounding communties.

"It will be an evolving process," he says. "The more customers we get the more we can do. This is going to be a clean, well-run and efficient operation."

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