Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

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KERASOTES 238 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 A fter more than 100 years in the motion picture exhibition indus- try, third generation managers Tony and Dean Kerasotes are continuing to develop their family's theaters nation- wide with a focus on luxury. "Our grandfather started Kerasotes in Springfield, Illinois, with a nickelodeon in 1909," says Tony Kerasotes, president at Kerasotes Theaters. "He expanded the brand with a few other theaters in Central Illinois. By 2009, we were up to about 100 locations with about 1,000 screens oper- ating — we were the fifth largest circuit in the United States at that time." In 2009, the company signed a deal to sell its theaters to AMC. "That deal closed in the spring of 2010, however, there were three theaters that were not included in the deal," says Kerasotes. "They had just opened, and it didn't make financial sense to sell them as part of the AMC transac- tion, so we decided to keep them and use them as the base for our rebirth, begin- ning in 2010." Working with those three theaters, Ker- asotes branched out into a new chapter for the company using the ShowPlace ICON Theatre in Chicago as a model for new endeavors. "The most important of the three remaining theaters was the ShowPlace ICON in Chicago," says Tony Kerasotes. "It was a big 16-screen theater in the South Loop area, which was an up-and-coming neck of the woods in Chicago at that time that was not serviced by a theater. My brother Dean did all the design work, and came up with the idea to put in a lounge and VIP rooms off the mezzanine area." This concept set the industry, and de- velopers, abuzz. "The location garnered industry attention and interest from de- velopers," says Tony Kerasotes. "Espe- cially developers who had projects going where they wanted something different and something a little more upscale than the traditional large circuit theater was providing at the time." This industry attention spawned a flurry of theater development across the U.S. for Kerasotes. That attention has led to deals in premium locations such as Seaport Square in Boston; The Yards in Washington, D.C.; The Boro in Tyson's Corner, Virginia; Five Lagunas in Laguna Hills, California; and two in the heart of California's Silicon Valley — The Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View and at Westfield's Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. "These are all super locations with high density, high income and high educational levels, which is the type of market we have targeted for this type of unit," says Tony Kerasotes. The most notable attributes in Kera- sotes' latest iteration include a bar with food offerings and VIP rooms, which lead off the mezzanine bars at each theater. "We're less of a restaurant and more of a bar than some of our competitors," says Kerasotes. "Our goal was to have a very sophisticated bar where people would actually want to go to have a drink or something light before or after the show. We succeeded in moving the bar up on the bar, if you will. We also implemented Kerasotes Theaters Continues Its Legacy With a focus on luxury, Kerasotes continues to open its ShowPlace ICON theaters nationwide. Katie Sloan Kerasotes will open a new ShowPlace ICON theatre as part of the expansion at Westfeld's Valley Fair Mall in California's Silicon Valley. The ICON theatre in Chicago was the company's inspiration for expanding the high end theatre model.

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