Additional venue for summer blockbusters | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Additional venue for summer blockbusters

Susan Wood, Tribune staff writer

Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Construction continues on the cinema project despite the winter weather.

As the holiday movie season starts to roll into high gear, so is the construction at Village Cinema off Park Avenue at the Marriott-anchored complex.

The theater once was proposed to open at Christmas, but owner Trans-Sierra Investments now expects to show movies at the eight-plex in June.

There’s no word on what types of movies will play. Likely operator Monte Adcock, who runs the Ironwood Stadium Cinema in Minden, is out of the country until January.

For now, construction challenges – routine and unforeseen – have bumped the completion date on the $10 million project a few times.

SMC Contracting of Reno has been busy trying to erect the shell of the 35,000-square-foot structure that will house the 900-seat movie theater, concessionaire and retail outlets.

Mother Nature is presenting obstacles.

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“Last week we had over a foot (of snow) in three days. I went out to Shehadi (Motors) and got the biggest 11-horsepower snowblower I could get,” SMC foreman Joe Stewart said Tuesday.

Mechanical, electrical and plumbing subcontractors have arrived to provide “the central nervous system” of the work, Stewart added.

To handle the big job, SMC Contracting has used the area where an ice arena will be located as a staging area for equipment and materials.

The special use has further delayed the opening of the arena which was once planned to have skaters by now. It will not be open until next fall.

Once the South Lake Tahoe theater becomes operational, the city said it intends to throw in three free hours of parking for moviegoers.

The thought is to play the same films here that are in Minden, assuming Adcock signs on the dotted line with Trans-Sierra Investments.

Wallace Theaters will have competition after being the only game in town for a dozen years. The Portland-based company expects to operate business as usual at the Horizon Casino Resort.

“We’ll likely compete for films,” Wallace spokesman David Lyons said. “We’ll have to evaluate it, when (the Village Cinema) opens.”

Lyons said the theater operator has been pleased with the box-office results at Stateline.

“Spring was soft, but summer was quite good. We’re slightly above last year,” he said.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com