New luxury movie theater opening Friday in Fort Pierce






Nearly two years after the old Nova Cinemas closed in Fort Pierce, the space has been transformed into a luxury dine-in movie theater called Sabal Palms Luxury 6. XAVIER MASCARENAS/TCPALM

FORT PIERCE — The Sunrise City has joined the league of the elite.

Nearly two years after the old Nova Cinemas closed, the space has been transformed into a luxury dine-in movie theater with recliners.

The new Touchstar Cinemas Sabal Palms Luxury 6 opens Friday in the Sabal Palm Plaza. The theater is at 2539 S. U.S. 1, south of Virginia Avenue.

It’s the fourth Touchstar Cinemas theater that Karishma and Bimal Dattani, of Orlando, have opened. They opened their first theater 15 years ago in Orlando and have another Florida theater in Spring Hill and one in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Once you watch a movie in here, you won’t go somewhere else,” Bimal Dattani said.

General manager Robert Healy said between 15 and 20 people have been knocking on the doors daily to ask when it was opening. More than 250 people applied for the theater’s 35 jobs, he said.

“When we first came in here, it was an old, trashy beat-up theater,” Healy said. “We gutted everything out from the tile to the studs and reconstructed the whole place so it could be a dine-in theater.”

When Sabal Palm Plaza opened in 1963, it was known as the Searstown and was anchored by Sears and Publix. A movie theater has been in the plaza at least since the 1970s, according to city records, and has gone through many changes in ownership and names over the years.

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The new carpet, flooring, walls and seating are seenThe new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema is photographedAngelo Arrias, of Orlando, works on the recliners inA row of large recliners is photographed at the newThe large reclining seats with tables are seen at theThe new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema is photographedSabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema, scheduled to start screeningThe new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema is photographedThe new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema is photographedThe restrooms at the new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 CinemaA laser projector is seen Aug. 9, 2017, at the newThe new Sabal Palms Luxury 6 Cinema is photographed

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Most of the seats are recliners, but a couple of theaters have a row or two of non-reclining seats, Healy said.

For the non-reclining seats, matinees are $6.50 for all ages. Ticket prices after 6 p.m. are $7 for children, students, seniors and military and $7.50 for adults.

A recliner seat requires the purchase of a small popcorn at a discounted $4.

The theater has a full alcohol license and you can have beer, wine and other drinks brought to your seat. Menu items include pizza, burgers, boneless wings, mozzarella sticks and desserts including cheesecake and tiramisu.

Kori Benton, senior planner with the city, said the new theater is a great addition.

“I don’t think folks will miss the sticky floors that used to be in there,” said Benton, who was born and raised in Fort Pierce and grew up going to the old theater. “It’s amazing the investment and the vision that they’ve had to retrofit and enhance the space.”

Sabal Palms 6

Address: 2539 U.S. 1, Fort Pierce
Movie line: 772-206-2183
Theater line: 772-206-2174
Prices: Regular seats $6.50 matinees before 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., $7 children, seniors, students, military and $7.50 adults. Premium seating recliners require purchase of a small popcorn at the discounted price of $4. 3-D movies are an extra $1. There’s a $1 service fee for tickets bought online.

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