COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Despite a high-end luxury theater's sudden departure from a plan that would have built a 10-screen theater at the Commons at BullStreet, city leaders say they've already moved on with a different company that could offer the same type of experience.
BullStreet operations officer Robert Hughes says even though Cobb Theatres yanked their plan to build at the site, work is underway to replace Cobb's vision with a different company that will be comparable.
Cobb COO Frank Stryjewski said their plan to build a state-of-the-art theater at the site of the old South Carolina Department of Mental Health facility had been shelved because the initial agreement to build the theater was predicated on the development of parking facilities at the BullStreet site by a certain date. When that date was not met by the City of Columbia, Stryjewski said, "we decided to move on to other opportunities."
Stryjewski says the company "always liked the opportunity" of building property at BullStreet but now he feels there are better options in other locations.
Still, Hughes says Cobb's decision is "not a negative at all" for the Commons at BullStreet.
The theater would have had all reserved, oversized and overstuffed electric reclining seats, a full-service restaurant, and bar offering American Bistro cuisine, with hand-crafted pizzas and an attractive selection of beer and wine to those who may or may not be there to enjoy a movie.
The theater would have been another linchpin to the site on top of the award-winning Spirit Communications Park.
However, Columbia City Councilman Howard Duvall says that's not the case at all. Duvall said the decision came following a change in Cobb's leadership.
Hughes said Cobb's new leadership actually made an unannounced visit to the campus and made a decision to not locate there.