Ranson residents will have a new entertainment venue in the summer of 2014.
Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille announced via a media release Thursday that it plans to build a 60,000-square-foot entertainment complex in Potomac Towne Center that will include 12 movie screens including an IMAX theater, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a 16-lane bowling alley.
Currently, the closest movie theater options for Jefferson County residents are in Martinsburg; Winchester, Va.; and Frederick, Md.
Jupiter, Fla.-based Frank Family Entertainment Group, the company that will run the facility in Ranson, began in Philadelphia as a family-owned theater in 1906. Keeping with its history of innovation, Frank's Ranson complex will feature 21st-century updates to the traditional movie theater experience.
According to Tara Nesseralla, vice president of sales and marketing for Frank Entertainment Companies, the CineBowl facility will have 16 lounge-style bowling lanes, an IMAX screen and Frank Entertainment's proprietary restaurant, Red Brick Grille. The theater will also be available for large parties and corporate functions. Moviegoers will have the option to reserve seats in advance online, at smartphone kiosks in the lobby or at the box office.
Ranson residents have been waiting for a movie theater since at least 2007. Published reports in August 2007 announced the coming of a Frank Theatres facility in Ranson, setting the opening date for Memorial Day of 2008.
However, the economic recession kept the theater complex from being built at the time, according to the previously published reports.
Nesseralla said that the project in Ranson has been in the works since 2004.
"Sometimes you have to deal with city ordinances and permits," she said. "Lots of work goes into a building before the groundbreaking."
Nesseralla said that Frank Entertainment has had to push back the opening dates of a few of its other theaters, citing branding and market researching as possible reasons for the delays. Sources from the Jefferson County Economic Development Authority, Ranson city management and the building's developers declined comment.
According to Nesseralla, in addition to any money the theater will bring in from ticket and food sales, it could also create about 150 jobs.
"Our primary focus for hiring will be for the restaurant and bowling alley," she said. "There will be lots of serving staff, since food