In 30 days work will start to transform the old Newberry Plaza into a new shopping center and family entertainment complex.
Developer Wayne Tilson purchased the Newberry Plaza out of foreclosure and has plans to turn the center into a strip mall with shops and entertainment complex.
The north side of the facility or the side where the former Hub was will be turned into an entertainment center that will include a six theater movie complex, a 16-lane bowling alley, arcades and a sports bar. The north side will include an addition and a much larger building than is there now.
To the cheers of the full opera house crowd, the cost will be a third less than in bigger cities.
The six movie theater complex will hold 1,000 people with the larger two holding 250 and smaller settings for 82 people. The movies shown will be first run, said Roy Palmer, who works with Tilson.
The movie theaters will be fully digital and have the state of the art sound systems and the larger ones will be 3-D digital.
The 16 bowling lanes will be able to host pro tournaments and have all the effects for playing under black lighting.
The 55,000 square foot facility will have one entrance for the entertainment portion and a central ticket and coin area.
Also the same food service crew will work everything from concessions to the bowling alley and the sports bar.
The sports bar will also feature live entertainment, there will be lobbies for parents and others to wait in and even quite areas for reading.
There will also be childrens and teen arcades.
The facility will also have heavy security and be managed under a single umbrella.
People will be able to enjoy pizza or wings before a movie and a sports bar after but patrons can also take food into the movies.
By the large and diverse crowd that turned out Tuesday night to hear about the project, Tilson says he can see that Newberry is ready for the family entertainment complex.
Newberry Mayor Foster Senn recognized supporters from all areas of the county with many county and municipal officials in attendance.
“This is great for Newberry County,” said Newberry County Councilman John Caldwell.
Work will start on the facade of the current strip mall in about 30 days, said Tilson.
Newberry City Manager Jeff Shacker says that permits to start the work have not been asked for but that he expects that to happen fairly quickly.
The development group has done similar projects and shopping centers in North and South Carolina.