So long, Beverly 18; new Carmike 13 won't open till summer

So long, Beverly 18; new Carmike 13 won't open till summer

CHAMPAIGN — Moviegoers on the north side of Champaign will have to travel farther the next few months to get their fix of cinema.

The Beverly 18 multiplex at 910 Meijer Drive, C, closed in mid-February, and the theater complex replacing it isn't expected to open until summer, a spokesman for Carmike Cinemas said.

Carmike announced last year it would replace the Beverly 18 with the Carmike 13.

The company initially said the Beverly would be "open and operating for guests during construction, with sections blocked off."

But now it's time for the old complex to be torn down — to allow entry to the new complex immediately to the north.

"We stayed open as long as we could," said Terrell Mayton, director of marketing for Carmike.

Of ongoing construction, he said, "it seems to be moving along well. We expect to be open in summertime."

On Wednesday, piles of theater seats dotted the theater parking lot. Signs on the doors said, "Sorry, we're closed but we'll be back," and indicated a state-of-the-art replacement would open "later this spring."

Inside, demolition and salvage work continued on the 17-year-old building.

Six auditoriums were taken down earlier to make way for the new multiplex, said George Weiser, operations manager for Ironhorse Concrete Recycling.

As of Wednesday, eight of the remaining 12 auditoriums had been torn out, and "we have four more to go," Weiser said.

Demolition started Feb. 21, and Weiser said he's hoping to have it finished by the end of April.

As described last year, the new Carmike 13 complex will include a "Big D" auditorium with a screen three stories tall. That auditorium will seat 600 people in high-back leather seats, and the other 12 auditoriums will have stadium-style seating with high-back rocking seats.

Altogether, the auditoriums are expected to accommodate 2,800 people.

In the meantime, Mayton said Carmike gift cards and gift books will be honored at other theaters in the chain. The nearest of those are the Strand 10 in Decatur, the Hickory Point 12 in Forsyth and the Palace Cinema 10 in Bloomington.

The gift cards and books can also be used at the new Carmike 13 when it opens, he said.

The Beverly opened in December 1995. At that time, it had 12 auditoriums and was owned by GKC Theatres. Six more screens were added in 1999, and the complex was acquired by Carmike Cinemas in 2005.

As of Sept. 30, 2012, Columbus, Ga.-based Carmike had 216 theaters with 2,119 screens. It recently completed the acquisition of 16 theaters in seven states from Rave Review Cinemas, including one in Peoria.

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vcponsardin wrote on February 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

I don't go to the movies anymore.  I stopped a couple of years ago when the typical crowds became so rude and brainless that the experience was no longer worth it.  I got tired of the incessant jabbering on cell phones and texting and messaging and people acting like they were at home by themselves with no one else in the world around but them.  Last film I went to, at the Savoy 16, a group of about 4 or 5 people talked out loud the entire time, ruining the evening for all the other patrons.  I don't believe these yapping, worthless clowns heard a word of the film--I certainly didn't.  And when I complained to the staff, they did nothing.  The time before that it was some idiot in front who spent the entire two hours texting and talking on her cell phone.  In fact, there were a dozen or more people with their idiot "smartphones" on that night, their little blue screens popping up constantly and distracting the rest of us from seeing the film.  Quite frankly, I'm sick of it.  Sick of the rudeness, the idiocy, the undeserved but entitled attitudes, the blatant self-centered behavior as if no one else in the world matters.  I now watch all my films on DVD or Netflix in the quiet and privacy of my own home.  Movie theatres are for simpletons and the incurably seflish.

Brownie wrote on February 28, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Nice blanket condemnation.  I think times have changed since you've last been to a movie.  Sure, there's the occasional idiot, but they'renot common.

vcponsardin wrote on March 01, 2013 at 12:03 am

Oh, yes.  I'm sure times have changed in the last two years.  Movie audiences are now so much better behaved... No more talking during the show, no more texting, tweeting, and chatting online.  Yup.  I'm sure you're right.  Audiences sure are better now than they were two years ago.  Thanks for the update.  But I think I'll keep my Netflix just the same...

Brownie wrote on March 01, 2013 at 10:03 am

The quality of the crowd is open to interpretation.  However, the statement "Movie theatres are for simpletons and the incurably seflish." is inflamitory and just plain wrong.

urbana1234 wrote on March 01, 2013 at 6:03 am

Agree, have not seen a film a a theatre in years, something or someone always spoils it, not to mention the ripoff prices. I will go to Harvest Moon Drive in if I want to see a new release.

Brandon Booher wrote on March 01, 2013 at 6:03 am

This theatre was BBBRRRUUUTTTALLL!  They had the worst staff, the place was always dirty, and the average patron was precisely what was mentioned above.  We don't go to movies often, espescially with Savoy16 raising prices to $9.25/person; but when we do go there it has always been pleasant.  Obviously the time and day of the show plays a part, but I've never had to get up or complain afterwards.  If iTunes and Hollywood could come together, I'd def. choose to stream the flicks from my wife only charges me $8 for popcorn vs. $15 everywhere else.

SaintClarence27 wrote on March 01, 2013 at 9:03 am

Never again will I go to this theater. I've had far too many terrible experiences.