Carmike plans Atlanta-area movie theater; will open complex in Decatur, Ala., next week

Heading into its fourth quarter and full-year 2012 earnings data release, Carmike Cinemas said it has wrapped up work on a north Alabama movie theater complex, and is preparing for another in the Atlanta area.

The company, headquartered in Columbus, said Thursday construction will begin soon on a 13-screen complex across from a 43-acre open-air shopping center known as The Avenue in Snellville, Ga., on the northeast side of Atlanta.

The Avenue is a Cousins Properties development that is anchored by Gap stores and Barnes & Noble, with a mix of restaurants that include Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Ted’s Montana Grill. The “lifestyle center,” as the project is known, is off Scenic Highway 124.

The Carmike 13 in Snellville will seat 2,800 moviegoers and include the upgraded “BigD” auditorium with a larger screen, plush chairs and enhanced video and audio.

Carmike, which is in a steady growth mode, also will have a grand opening for a 12-screen theater March 7 in Decatur Mall on Beltline Road in Decatur, Ala. It seats 2,300.

The movie-theater chain has complexes in the works for Sandestin, Fla., Champaign, Ill., Winchester, Va., Hickory, N.C., and Colorado Springs, Colo. Others are planned in nearby Opelika, Ala., Oak Grove, Ky., El Paso, Texas, and Montgomery, Ala.

Carmike, meanwhile, said it will release its latest financial earnings report on March 14, after the stock markets’ close.

At last count on Sept. 30, the motion-picture exhibitor operated 232 theaters (2,242 screens) in 35 states. Carmike President and CEO David Passman has said the company is pushing toward 300 theaters and screens, either through new movie houses or acquisitions.