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New luxury theater to open in University Mall in 2015

	The Silverspot Cinema will be a movie theater complex opening in University Mall in early 2015. Courtesy of University Mall.

The Silverspot Cinema will be a movie theater complex opening in University Mall in early 2015. Courtesy of University Mall.

Chapel Hill movie buffs can rejoice — a premium theater is coming to University Mall.

On Tuesday, mall management announced its agreement with Silverspot Cinema to build a luxury movie theater complex in the space currently occupied by Dillard’s as the latest step of its redevelopment plan.

The South American movie theater operator will open a 13-screen, 52,500-square-foot movie complex offering an upscale atmosphere that includes a lounge area and full restaurant.

Each theater will be equipped with state-of-the-art sound and projection technology, reserved stadium seating and extra-large, hand-stitched leather seats, according to a press release from the mall.

Peter de Leon, University Mall’s general manager, said he thinks the theater will be a big help for the mall and sees the new addition as a reflection of the local community.

“The new theater speaks to the highly sophisticated, highly cultured community we have in Chapel Hill. They’re going to start construction in 2014, with an early 2015 opening,” he said.

Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, said the new amenity will be positive for both the mall and Chapel Hill.

“The theater will draw customers to support the mall’s exciting, new and longtime merchants,” Nelson said in an email.

“It enhances Chapel Hill as a destination for entertainment and will help redirect local dollars that had been traveling out of our community to neighboring theaters.”

Silverspot is one of seven businesses that has recently opened or will open at the mall in the next two years. The theater will show foreign and independent films, blockbusters and 3-D movies as well as live broadcasts of international opera, ballet and theater performances. Tickets will be $16 for adults.

“The goal is not just to open a movie theater, but to create an environment that is unique, lush and plush, and feels more intimate and exclusive,” said Gonzalo Ulivi, manager of Silverspot Cinema. De Leon said the agreement ended an aggressive search for a movie theater to help co-anchor the mall as the exclusive dining and entertainment destination in Chapel Hill.

“This is something our community will really enjoy because it creates a theater experience,” he said.

“It’s not just going to the movies. It’ll be a great entertainment lifestyle destination.”

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