Archive for Thursday, November 10, 2005

Lights, camera, Legends

14-screen, 3,000-seat theater slated to open Friday in Village West

November 10, 2005

An auditorium featuring "the biggest movie screen in the Midwest" is primed for a December showing of "King Kong." A lounge area upstairs will offer beverages such as OO7 Martinis and "Casablanca" gin and tonics.

And a 45-foot steel archway outside says it all: welcome to Legends 14.

See a photo gallery of the new theater opening

Legends 14 -- a new, 3,000-seat, 14-screen movie theater inside the Village West entertainment and tourism district in western Wyandotte County -- opens Friday, Nov. 11. Show times begin at 11:30 a.m.

The movie theater is part of the Legends shopping center, a 700,000-square-foot, open-air retail area, and its grand opening will coincide with unveilings of several other businesses.

Tours of the new movie theater were offered Monday and Tuesday.

Greg Hogue, community relations director for Legends 14, said movie-goers shouldn't expect their granddaddy's picture house when visiting the new theater.

"In terms of size, comfort and presentation, this is the best," Hogue said. "This is my 35th year in this business, and I've never seen anything like it. ... We'll compete with any movie theater in Kansas City."

Legends 14 representatives said they expect to draw approximately 20,000 movie-goers during opening weekend. Hogue said the company also expects roughly 1 million visitors per year.

"And I think we're fully capable of doing that," he said, noting that Legends 14 will target the entire metropolitan area as well as capitalize on the nearly 10 million tourists per year that visit Village West. "There's a tremendous draw out here."

Phoenix Theatres, based in Knoxville, Tenn., operates Legends 14. The company owns or operates seven theaters in five states and plans on opening three more locations next year.

Company president Phil Zacheretti said the Kansas City, Kan., product offers a "superior motion picture experience."

"We believe (fans will) be immediately hooked on this magnificent new theater," Zacheretti said.

Legends 14 has screens ranging in size from 40 to 60 feet wide and which seat between 130 and 300 people. Its largest auditorium, seated just off the main lobby and complete with a behemoth screen, is the primary attraction.

Movie theater representatives boast that the screen is not only the largest in Kansas and Missouri, but also in the entire Midwest.

"There's one place to see 'King Kong,' and that's right here," Hogue said.

The main auditorium will seat 650 people and includes a VIP balcony. The balcony is outfitted with over-sized plush seats, and a lounge nearby serves adult beverages that may be taken into the balcony area.

Tickets to the VIP balcony cost $16.50, or roughly double the standard fare for adults. It is available for all guests who are 21 and older.

The main auditorium also features an innovative sound system, the JBL Sound Experience, which is complete with 42 surround sound speakers, and is offered in only one other theater in the United States.

The other screens in the theater are nothing to sneeze at, either, Hogue said. Most of the mid-sized screens "would be the equivalent of most large screens in a megaplex theater."

Work continued this week on the 90,000-square-foot theater. Hogue said finishing touches on Legends 14 will be completed by Friday.

"It's ready to rock-'n'-roll," he said. "It's amazing how it all comes together at the end. ... We're excited and we'll be ready for Friday to happen."

Tickets for Legends 14 cost $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for students, senior citizens or during matinee hours and $5.75 for children. Tickets may be purchased at the box office, via the Web site www.PhoenixTheatres.com or www.MovieTickets.com or by telephone at (913) 428-2992.

Automated ticket kiosks are also in front of the theater.

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