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The planning commission in Mequon, Wisconsin has cleared the way for Marcus Theatres Corp. to upgrade the Marcus North Shore with a 450 seat UltraScreen auditorium, a Zaffiro's pizza counter, a redesigned lobby and outdoor dining area, and a renovated entrance.
At least one of the auditoriums in the theater will be equipped with a Digital Cinema projection system capable of 3D. Food and drink choices will also be improved with the addition of Stone Creek Coffee and Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, according to an article in the Small Business Times.
One of the cinema's 11 screens will be converted for the new restaurants, and the new UltraScreen will be added onto the East side of the building. From the description of the upgrades, these improvements will put the theater more on par with the amenities present at the chain's newest Milwaukee area theater, the Marcus Majestic in Waukesha. You can view a gallery of 85 photos that we took of that theater during construction and when it opened for an idea of its lobby, amenities, and exterior appearance.
Marcus plans to begin construction this fall.
Even though Marcus reportedly told the Mequon Planning Commission that attendance has dropped from its peak in the 1990's (see mention on JSOnline), the parking lot for North Shore is rarely empty. The construction in 2005 of the Marcus Cinema - Saukville may have drawn off some of North Shore's customers, but random viewings of the Saukville cinema's parking lot shows nowhere near the number of vehicles that North Shore has on a regular basis.
While the North Shore cinema has very little competition, its appearance is quite dated. For being in an upscale suburb, the entrance is so plain that a casual glance from the freeway would fail to identify the structure as a movie theater. While I can't imagine the commission approved a marquee sign and entrance the size of the Majestic's (see the photo to the right), that would certainly improve the first impression of the theater and its visibility to the adjacent I-43 freeway.
Upgrades to the lobby to bring it up to Marcus' recent efforts would also be a welcome improvement.
Click the Read link below to view the full article on the Small Business Times web site. Additional information can be found in an article on the Milwaukee Business Journal web site as well.
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