ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

New Grand Theatre opens with "Dr. Strange" showing

The theater opened its doors for the first shows on Friday.

NewGrandTheatre_1
Movie-goers wait in line at the concessions stand during the opening day of the New Grand Theatre, May 6, 2022.
Kari Lucin

WORTHINGTON — After months of anticipation, The New Grand Theatre in Worthington opened its doors to the public on Friday afternoon, welcoming movie-lovers and popcorn enthusiasts alike.

“Following an unprecedented global pandemic that threw the movie theater business into turmoil in 2020 and 2021, we are thrilled to have been able to partner with the city of Worthington to open one of the first new movie theaters constructed in the country during this time,” said Todd Frager, president of The Movie Guy and West Mall Theatres, Inc. “We are grateful for the patience of the city and its residents as we worked to get this beautiful facility ready to show movies."

The operators of the New Grand Theatre previously ran the city’s Northland Cinema 5 from 2007 to 2015 until that facility closed due to the deteriorating condition of the mall.

The Worthington City Council voted to construct a new movie theater building in 2019 after local residents had voiced the need for a new movie theatre in Worthington. The project cost nearly $4 million to complete.

“That's really what spurred the city council to move forward and undertake the project of building a movie theater,” said Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson on Friday. “Unfortunately, in a market like Worthington, a theater operator just economically cannot afford to undertake building a brand new theater, outfitting it, and then operating it profitably. So, the decision was made that the city would put the building up, and then we sent out a request for proposals for operators and that they would outfit the theater.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The Movie Guy was awarded the contract to become the operator and the company has since furnished and installed carpet, curtains, lighting, seats, projectors, screens, sound systems, video signage, food and beverage machines, and other trade equipment in the 5-screen stadium seating complex.

A worker loads freshly-popped popcorn into a bag for a movie-goer at the New Grand Theatre in Worthington, which opened its doors to the general public for the first time on Friday.
A worker loads freshly-popped popcorn into a bag for a movie-goer at the New Grand Theatre in Worthington, which opened its doors to the general public for the first time on Friday.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

“We're very excited,” Robinson said. “It has been a lengthy process … but we wanted to build a theater that was unlike anything in the area and you would have to travel a great distance to experience a movie theater such as what we have now.”

The New Grand Theatre includes a spacious lobby where a life-size photo mural reproduction of the original Grand Theatre in downtown Worthington pays homage to the history of moviegoing in the city, its operators said.

The black quartzite concession counter and colorful lighting displays traditional movie treats.

Patrons at the New Grand Theatre buy tickets to a movie and a bag of popcorn Friday.
Patrons at the New Grand Theatre buy tickets to a movie and a bag of popcorn Friday.
Kari Lucin / The Globe

Inside, the five auditoriums at the New Grand Theatre feature electric recliner seating, Sony Digital Cinema 4K projection equipment, and immersive 6- and 8-channel surround sound. The two large auditoriums boast screens that are over 40 feet wide, and the three other auditoriums feature screens that are nearly 30 feet wide.

“We’re very grateful to the city of Worthington,” said investor Kevin Donovan ahead of the theater’s opening. “I'm just happy to say after seven years of long, hard work, we're opening it today.”

On Friday, the New Grand Theatre debuted the brand-new superhero action-adventure movie, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” on three of its five screens.

The other screens feature the animated family blockbuster “The Bad Guys,” and the adult drama “Father Stu,” starring Mark Wahlberg.

ADVERTISEMENT

Later in May, the theater will open the long-awaited Tom Cruise sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.” Tickets can be purchased on the theater’s website, or in-person at the theater on the day of the show.

The New Grand Theatre will be open every weekday for late afternoon and early evening shows, with additional late shows and afternoon matinees on the weekends and holidays. The facilities are also available for special showings, birthday celebrations, tours, meetings and other events.

“Worthington has waited a long time for this movie theatre, and we think the community will be thrilled and proud of the results," Frager said. "We look forward to showing movies in this beautiful facility for many years to come.”

The New Grand Theatre is located about two blocks east of the Perkins Restaurant at the intersection of Darling Drive and Grand Avenue in Worthington, with a large parking lot in front.

A movie hotline will be available in the future by calling (507) 343-0633. The theater’s Facebook page is active, and showtimes and ticket purchasing are available on the website newgrandtheatre.com.

READ MORE BY EMMA MCNAMEE
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of no more than five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both for each of the charges against him.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Minnesota’s Historic Tax credit had an 11-year run before ending in 2022. Now, advocates of the program are attempting to bring it back.
Follow the Globe Minute, our twice-weekly Worthington news and weather podcast, on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!
Doyle is scheduled to make her initial court appearance Jan. 31.
The Center for Active Living's racquetball courts were also discussed. They will be repaired, with one of the courts to be retrofitted to better serve CAL members.
May is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Jan. 23.
Members Only
Glynn is scheduled to make her initial court appearance on Jan. 31.
“We are in the throes of an important struggle in this country,” McLemore said to students, faculty, and community members Tuesday. “...This battle is around the right to vote.”
Follow the Globe Minute, our twice-weekly Worthington news and weather podcast, on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!

Related Topics: WORTHINGTONBUSINESSMOVIES
Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
What To Read Next
Professional researcher Debbie Boe will give an introduction to family history research for new genealogists.
Greg and Cindy DeGroot offered a matching fund of up to $100,000 through the Legacy Partners program of Worthington Regional Health Care Foundation.
Deer grazed in a cornfield in near Rushmore in southwest Minnesota.
Awards were announced during Friday’s annual FORWARD Worthington Extravaganza at Lerma’s Event Center.