Movie Tavern has closed its Lexington location off Richmond Road and is moving to the theater at Brannon Crossing in Nicholasville.
The planned conversion of Brannon Crossing was announced in January, but there was no indication then that the Lexington location would close.
"Closing the Lexington location and moving to Nicholasville gives us a better opportunity to do what we do best, which is a full-service dining experience and luxury recliner seating," Movie Tavern spokesman Danny Digiacomo said Thursday.
Six screens at Brannon Crossing will open "within the week," Digiacomo said, and five more will open in late October. A grand opening will take place shortly after all 11 screens are open.
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The theater had 14 screens when AmStar Cinemas opened there in 2006. It was Nicholasville's first movie theater since the 1980s.
Digiacomo said reducing the number of screens was necessary to make room for kitchen facilities and other needs for the restaurant-cinema concept. He said most theaters in the Dallas-based chain have eight to 12 screens.
Overall, seating capacity at Brannon Crossing will be reduced about 20 percent, Digiacomo said.
The trade-off, he said, is more comfortable seating and full kitchen and bar service for customers and buttons on the seats to call wait staff. The lobby bar won't open until late October, Digiacomo said. A March press release about the project said the renovation would cost $5 million and bring 180 full- and part-time jobs to Nicholasville.
After the full opening, Digiacomo said, the theater will offer Saturday morning movies with breakfast and classic movies. He said Movie Tavern had no further plans for the Richmond Road facility.
Movie Tavern, owned by Southern Theatres of New Orleans, has an age policy: Patrons 16 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 or older. For more information, go to Movietavern.com/brannoncrossing.