Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Zeus Digital Theaters

Zeus Digital Theaters is my new project. Zeus is an 8-screen, all digital theater being built in Waynesboro, Virginia. The theater is going in on my DeWitt Crossing project.

When I do a new project, people have a hard time catching up with the concept. So below is my little Q&A Interview with myself on the subject.






So, you are building a new theater in Waynesboro. Why there and why now?

Waynesboro is the perfect market for a new movie theater. Why there isn't one already is beyond me. I think the easy answer is that most theater companies overlook Waynesboro because the demographics don't look right on a map due to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. However, I know the market very well and expect it to perform nicely for this theater.

Why did you call it Zeus?

We all know about the Apollo Theater and the Mercury Theater, but there is no Zeus Theater. Greek gods are great for theater names simply because they invoke the fantasy that is shown in the movies. Zeus works especially well since his icon is the lightning bolt which loosely translates into digital projection.

What is special about the theater?

First, it is the only all digital, stadium seating theater that I have found in Virginia. Second, it will have more Digital 3D screens than any other theater within a 2 hour drive. Finally, the theater will have a retail store inside that focuses on movie related tshirts, toys and accessories.

What is so great about digital projection?

Since 1929, theaters have been showing movies using film. This 35mm film project has held up well for 80 years, however, the movie studios are moving to digital systems which have a number of benefits. With a digital movie, there is no physical print which means that the quality of the image does not decrease with each showing as it does with 35mm.

Also, digital gives us the ability to show 3D films. Finally, digital allows us to show locally produced movies from the public.



21 comments:

4boyington said...

It is understood that the property along Lew Dewitt is zoned for commercial use. A bank, an office building or two is certainly not too invasive if you happen to live nearby. However, it is a real disappointment that Mr. Hayes intends to develop land for such a structure as an 8-screen cinema adjacent to our established housing development (Boyington Blvd. in the Bridgeport area). In a real estate developer’s mind it may be an ideal spot, but anyone who lives on this side of the fence understands how this is going to severely impact our neighborhood and the rear properties of these houses on Boyington Blvd. Outdoor lights from the parking lot, in addition to the noise factor will adversely affect our environment and quality of life. One neighbor has already had a fence installed. Our privacy and views will be taken from us, as it was for the neighbors on the other side of the “Extended Stay Hotel”. Why not build such a structure where it will better serve the community and other commercial stores and boost those businesses--a place where it can handle traffic, such as the shopping center near I-64. There are already too many vacant commercial sites in Waynesboro that need refurbishing. Why not consider these locations instead of digging up new ground? We just retired here a year ago and bought our house because of the peaceful street and beautiful views. I invite Mr. Hayes over to see it from our the neighborhood’s prospective. Perhaps he should consider building the cinema near his residential property. You will hurt our property values. Lew Dewitt Blvd. is not the place for this type of commercial structure. For the powers that be who planned and approved this, hopefully you will do better for Waynesboro in the future. I am sure that the people of Waynesboro don’t care where you build a cinema, but since I will be looking at it, I do care.

Brett Hayes said...

When I decided to purchase and develop the 33 acres on Lew DeWitt Blvd, I knew that there would always be neighbors who would object to what I was doing. However, a better understanding of the situation would help 4boyington. So here it goes:

1. Lew DeWitt Blvd was built in the 80's as a commercial corridor for the express purpose of providing space for commercial development.

2. The neighborhood that boyington speaks of was an empty field 15 years ago. I am sure the neighbors of that field didn't appreciate the development either.

3. A movie theater is not something you should put on the interstate, it is a local business that brings jobs for high school kids, tax revenue and entertainment to the community. Does he also dislike the Kroger down the street?

4. If you want to keep the views, then you should have bought the property. It was on the market for years before I bought it.

5. My development has street lights, side walks, curb and gutter and a serious stormwater system. None of these features are found in the neighborhood in question.

6. All of the improvements to the property were paid for by me personally.

7. How is my theater any louder than the kennel of dogs in your neighborhood? My walls have an STC (sound rating of 70). The walls have 7 layers of 5/8 drywall with double stud walls, a 2" air gap, sound insulation and sound caulking. You are likely to hear more from the existing street noise or the aforementioned dogs than of my theater.

8. Somewhere along the road, people have gotten the idea that if you own commercial property that its use is subject to a vote of popular support. However, it is not. My development is my business. If 4boyington had done his/her homework before buying the house, he would have noticed that it sits next to a commercial development. A simple phone call would have told him everything he needed to know. I am still wondering how someone who owns a 1/4 acre lot gets to tell his neighbor what to do with his 33 acre piece.

You will get no pity from me.

Synome said...

I for one am excited about the idea of having a local theater, especially a digital one. This is something that Waynesboro has needed for years.

As a regular movie goer I imagine I'll be there quite often. I'm curious if this theater will offer any type of rewards program for frequent visitors such as the regal crown club does.

Would love to know when development is scheduled to be completed.

Brett Hayes said...

Yes, we will have a rewards program of some sort. Since this is a business, before I can introduce any special programs, I must first create a base-line which I will then use to compare any promotions to. I would think the base-line would take about 3-4 months.

After that, we will begin to test various programs. I have one in mind that I can't wait to try. Since we will have a retail store in the lobby selling movie related merchandise, I thought it would be interesting to sell a "Free Popcorn" for the life of the t-shirt shirt. Essentially, if you wear the shirt, you get a free popcorn.

There are other rewards programs as well. We will test them all at some point.

jenncoty said...

This theater is going to be amazing!! Ive seen the building design and Brett has put alot of time into this for his customers to get the best out of there expeirence at Zeus Digital Theaters. So be sure to check it out!

martha said...

Bravo, Mr. Hayes - along with all the positive benefits for the community, there's a more personal one. Movie theaters create memories that stay with you throughout your life. For a lot of people, it's the best magic around. I believe this venture will be tremendously successful for you and that's well deserved. But on a personal level, I'd just like to say..."thanks for the memories".

Rebecca said...

Congratulations on your enterprise. We moved to Waynesboro two years ago and at the time, talking to some local teens we were told the only thing missing was a theatre. I look forward to this theater, in my town, that's clean, and uses newer technology.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me approximately when the theater will be open for business? I am so excited you're putting a movie theater in Waynesboro (esp a super nice one!)!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hayes, I am thrilled that you are building this theater. I check the progress at the site every time I am in that area of town. My enthusiasm is such that it seems to be progressing so slowly! I absolutely agree with you that Waynesboro has needed a movie theater forever. I wish you the very best of success in this venture -- this theater will enrich our lives.

Josiah said...

When will you be hiring? Will you hire high schoolers? I am really looking forward to this theater and I hope I can get a job there!

Nicole said...

I can hardly wait!!

Tim said...

I'm also happy that movies are coming back to Waynesboro... especially since it will have stadium seating. I make a point of going to the movies when Vacationing in Va. Beach solely because of the superior seating in a theater there. Good Job! Any idea of a completion date?

Brett Hayes said...

Lots of comments here. We are still shooting for an Oct 1, 2010 opening. Based on that date, we will be interviewing middle-August.

Take a look at our website: http://www.zeustheaters.com

Anonymous said...

I am so excited!!! When will it be open for movies??? I can't wait for the day when I can go the movies in W'boro instead of having to drive to Staunton or C-ville. Great work and great investment! Can't wait to see movies there!

Amber said...

So my big question is; will concessions be reasonable? I never understood why places like Regal gouge you on food and drink (and give you such a small selection). I get that they have a captive audience, so to a certain extent, they can charge whatever they want. However, it just makes them look greedy and people tend to just not buy anything. I think if the prices were reasonable, they would sell a LOT more.

P.S. Must. Have. Dr. Pepper. :o)

Chuck Hall said...

Mr. Hayes, I have a small but buddig lawn mowing business here in Waynesboro, Va. I really admire what you are doing and would love to be part of the thrill and excitement. If you uwould like me to maintain any of the property around Zeus just let me know. Sincerely, Chuck HAll Tree Street Lawn Mowing & Weed Eating, ALl work is 100% Guaranteed

Chuck Hall said...

Contact Info: ( 540) 448-2891

Anonymous said...

what is the estmated time it will open

Anonymous said...

The theater construction surely is coming along well. I make a point of driving by about once a week, visiting "my" new theater (which, in my enthusiasm, is how I think of your theater). Your latest project will surely be a very positive thing for the community. I am grateful for the quality of the theater you are bringing us. If only October weren't so far away!

Anonymous said...

We are very excited about the new theater We only wish it was built in Stuarts Draft . I have lived here for 17 years and I can tell you there is nothing for the the kids to do around here . My son is hoping that he can get a job there . He is planning on joining the Navy next year and would love to work for a place owned by a former Marine . BY the way thank you so much for your service and the part you played in keeping our Country safe . Best of luck to you ...

lisa said...

YOU ARE SO RIGHT BRETT........THE HOMEOWNERS PICKED THEIR PLACE TO LIVE RIGHT BESIDE COMMERCIAL USE, THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO PRIOR TO PURCHASING THEIR PROPERTY, IF THE WANTED TO LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE AWAY FROM COMMERCIAL PROPERTY THEY COULD HAVE DONE SO. THAT WAS THEIR RISK ON WHAT WOULD BE BUILT IN THE FUTURE***SO WHY COMPLAIN NOW? 4BOYINGTON SHOULD HAVE PURCHASED THAT COMMERCIAL PROPERTY IF HE WANTED A MORE QUIETER SETTING!!! GOOD LUCK WITH THE MOVIE THEATER!!!!