In a few weeks, Hilliard restaurants and businesses once again should reap the benefits of a movie theater on the city's doorstep.
The former Movie Tavern dine-in theater on the outskirts of Hilliard is expected to reopen in June under a new name, Movies 11 at Mill Run, at 3773 Ridge Mill Drive in Columbus.
The Movie Tavern closed April 9.
"We are excited that the movie theater in Mill Run will remain a movie theater," said Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce. "(Patrons) also visit other businesses and will see what Hilliard has to offer in terms of restaurants, entertainment and services."
Though in Columbus, the theater is as close as half a mile from restaurants and retail businesses on Park Mill Run Drive in Hilliard, as well as Trueman Boulevard and Britton Parkway.
Nalini Laveti, who owns Movies 11 with partners Praveen Goutham and Krishna Jasti, said the facility would undergo significant renovations over the next few weeks.
Laveti said upgrades would include new seats in the theaters, as well as updated dining and bar areas.
"We want to be top notch," he said.
The dine-in theaters, which would show first-run movies, would seat anywhere from 220 to 60, Laveti said.
Movies 11 is part of Midwest Movies, a locally based partnership run by Laveti, Goutham and Jasti that also owns the Screens at the Continent.
ThisWeek was unable to reach Cincinnati-based Neyer Real Estate Management, the company currently listed as the landlord for the new business, for comment before press time.
"We are excited that the site will remain a theater," said Jason Taggart, a trustee of the Mill Run Owners Association and a former leasing agent for the Market at Mill Run LLC
Taggart said it is important to have a movie theater at Mill Run because it is one of the few in central Ohio west of the Scioto River and north of Interstate 70.
The 58,500-square-foot building was erected in 1990 and its tax value in 2016 was $1.8 million, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office.
It was the home of a Cinemark Theater upon its opening, Taggart said.
The Movie Tavern at Mill Run replaced Cinemark in October 2007, according to Danny DiGiacomo, vice president of marketing for Southern Theaters, the New Orleans-based company that owns Movie Tavern.
it was the company's only location in Ohio when it closed last month, but DiGiacomo said sales weren't a problem.
"(The closure) had nothing at all to do with performance," he said last month. "The Movie Tavern was doing well and we received lots of social-media feedback from our customers expressing their sadness."
He said the closure was the result of a failure to negotiate a lease renewal.