Nine screens, red leather recliners and high-tech laser projection welcomed movie goers at the grand opening of Tucson’s newest movie theater on Thursday night.
Galaxy Theatre, now open at 100 S. Houghton Road in place of an old Bashas Supermarket, is offering a luxury cinema experience for Tucsonans who live on the city’s eastern edge.
“We love the vitality of the Tucson area, we like the growth,” said CEO of Galaxy Theatres Frank Rimkus. “What we saw was here in Tucson, there was one particular area that was very underserved with a state-of-the-art movie theater and that was the Eastside.”
Galaxy Theatres were invited to the area by Bradford M. Freeman of Brentwood Developments, a California real estate company. The project, including demolishing the existing Bashas and building the new theater, took two years to complete.
According to Rimkus, this weekend marks the beginning of the busy holiday movie season, making Thursday night the perfect day to open. Galaxy will show all of the major Hollywood movies, including 3D films.
The Tucson Metro Chamber presented Galaxy with a Proclamation of congratulations and good fortune at the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday night, with erupting applause from the crowd and new staff. Rimkus estimates that the theater will create between 65 and 85 new jobs in the area.
“Galaxy is known for its culture,” said Rimkus, explaining that employees aim to provide hospitality rather than customer service. Galaxy also aims to be good corporate citizens, and engages in community outreach specifically focusing on education.
This focus was something that attracted General Manager Carl Haskins, a veteran and former University of Arizona professor.
“If there is an opportunity to get involved with education, we are going to take it,” Haskins said.
Another thing that Galaxy is known for? It’s popcorn. The theater offers everyone’s favorite movie theater concessions along with beer, wine and margaritas. Tickets can be purchased online, at kiosks or at the front desk. Movie goers at the grand opening were treated to free soda and popcorn before showings of The Nutcracker and Bohemian Rhapsody.