SHAQUILLE O’NEAL AND NEWARK MAYOR CORY BOOKER ANNOUNCE GRAND OPENING OF STATE-OF-THE-ART CITYPLEX 12.
All-new 12-screen theatre features first-class digital projection with 3D, stadium seating and Dolby Digital. Theatre serves New Jersey’s largest City and surrounding population.
Newark, NJ – September 14, 2012 – New Jersey has a new premiere entertainment destination in Newark with the new CityPlex12 theatre; a first-run, all-Digital, stadium seating, 3D-capable movie theatre in New Jersey’s largest City. Co-owned by Boraie Development, LLC and Newark native and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, the new CityPlex12 theatre is on the site of the former 6-screen Loews Newark Metroplex and Newark Screens Theatre.
Mayor Cory A. Booker, members of the Newark Municipal Council, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Adam Zipkin, NBA legend and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal, Brick City Development Corporation CEO Lyneir Richardson, Goldman Sachs Managing Director Alicia Glen, President of New Jersey Community Capital Wayne Meyer and other dignitaries were on hand today to cut the ribbon to officially open the CityPlex12 movie theatre in Newark’s Central Ward.
“The redevelopment and expansion of the Newark Screens to the CityPlex12 Newark is overall an urban success story. CityPlex12 Newark has advanced the revitalization of the Central Ward and become both an attraction as well as a community asset,” said Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Brick City Development Corporation.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said, "CityPlex12 is the best place to watch a movie in New Jersey. Newark’s own Shaquille O’Neal partnered with Boraie Development to renovate this theater, doubling the number of screens and creating CityPlex12 Newark – the newest entertainment venue in Newark. This movie theater is in the heart of the Central Ward, so Newarkers from all five wards can stay in our City to see the latest movies – from Madea to Men in Black. This theater will entertain Newarkers of all ages and employ Newarkers through our City first source agreement."
Deputy Mayor Adam Zipkin added, "At the beginning of this administration, Newark’s only movie theater was struggling to survive. But with decisive action from Mayor Booker and local partners, we were able to stabilize the movie theater and put it in the capable hands of Boraie Development and Shaquille O’Neal. This championship-caliber development team has created CityPlex12 Newark and brought stadium seating, 12 theaters, and 3D screens to Newark. This state of the art theater is an important community hub of entertainment and employment opportunities for our citizens."
“I have long been a proponent of economic development in our downtown central business district, but I get even more charged up and excited about what I call ‘parallel’ economic development in our neighborhoods. CityPlex12 Newark is part of the economic re-birth of a part of the Springfield Avenue commercial corridor that once provided a rich and diverse variety of goods, services, and entertainment. With the redevelopment of CityPlex12 Newark, Newark residents and residents from the surrounding area can enjoy a world class movie theater that is second to none in quality, comfort, and technological excellence. Hats off to Shaquille O'Neal and the Boraie Development group for giving us a theatre we can truly be proud of,” said Darrin S. Sharif, Councilman for the Central Ward.
Financing for the project was provided by Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group in partnership with New Jersey Community Capital and Brick City Development Corporation. Collectively, the group has provided approximately $7 Million for construction financing from the NOUEZ/BCDC Loan Fund to the Borrower to assist in expansion. “We are delighted to see this project come to fruition,” said Alicia Glen, Managing Director and head of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. “Being able to attend the movies in your own neighborhood is one of the great benefits of living in the city. We are thrilled about the positive energy that CityPlex12 has already created in this neighborhood and we look forward to seeing the transformative effects it will have on Springfield Avenue.”
“When we saw the opportunity to invest New Markets Tax Credits into this project, and to work with the other great partners in this effort, we knew right away it could become something special for Newark,” said Wayne Meyer, President of New Jersey Community Capital. “We are not at all surprised by how the city has already embraced this theater. Besides creating jobs, catalyzing investment, and building community in a traditionally underserved urban area, there is no doubt that the theatre will be an integral part of the city’s cultural life for many decades.”
The theater, owned and operated by Mr. O’Neal and Boraie Development, underwent a massive renovation this year to increase its footprint to 45,000 square feet as well as increasing total seating capacity to almost 2,400. Wasseem Boraie, VP of Boraie Development comments, “Our Team has been working hard day and night to deliver to our customers the best, state-of-the-art theatre with all digital projection and stadium seating in the state of New Jersey. Our customers have always supported our theatre since it first opened, and we are especially excited to present our patrons with a brand new entertainment experience right in the city that will appeal to a broad audience of movie goers that demand excellence. We are committed to making CityPlex12 the best place to see movies in New Jersey.” Some of the top-of-the line amenities include: Barco 4K Digital Projection in all 12 theatres, Dolby 7.1 digital sound, RealD-3D and a new concession stand. All 12 auditoriums have stadium-style seating, providing unparalleled sightlines, as well as the comfort of plush high-back rocking seats.
The theatre’s premiere auditorium is the SHAQ-DX, “A bigger than life Digital-Xperience.” This 300-seat stadium-style auditorium features luxurious high-back leather rockers, Dolby 7.1 audio, RealD-3D and a 47 foot-wide screen. “Opening a state-of-the-art movie theatre in the City I come from is a dream come true,” said Mr. O’Neal. “We wanted Newarkers and residents in Essex County to have a place to see the latest movies in the most comfortable setting with the best projection and sound available and I think the result speaks for itself.” In conjunction with the new “Party Room” and expansive lobby, the CityPlex12 was designed to host events, screenings and birthday parties for kids of all ages.
The re-designed CityPlex12 has already seen success this summer by hosting the sold-out Kids Film Series. Sponsored by community partner and future Newark neighbor Panasonic, the CityPlex12 screened a new film every week this summer and saw attendance reach almost 10,000 children and adults. The Boys and Girls Club of Newark was also an integral partner, offering the movie-going activity to children on Wednesday mornings. Other community partnerships and events this summer included hosting the closing night for The Newark Museum’s annual Newark Black Film Festival and Paul Robeson Awards on August 1, the “Dark Knight” Trilogy Marathon in July, and a “Sparkle” celebration weekend in August.
The theater will celebrate its Grand Opening by launching “30 Days of Shaqness” on Saturday, September 15th, with a cookout from 2pm to 6pm featuring entertainment, food and select $1.00 movies all day. In addition, the month-long promotion which will also offer:
· A Sweepstakes for movie passes, theatre merchandise and a movie poster signed by the cast of “Sparkle.”
· Daily discounts all Month offered to families, seniors, and Newark’s large college population.
· Movie Madness: $1.00 movies from September 17 to September 20. Featuring “Marvel’s Avengers,” “Think Like a Man,” “Brave” and “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection.”
About Boraie Development, L.L.C. - Boraie Development, L.L.C., was founded 30 years ago and is headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ. It specializes in urban development and has completed more than 1 million square feet of commercial and residential development in the past decade.
About The O’Neal Group - Shaquille O’Neal is an NBA All-Star and Newark native who formed The O’Neal Group in 2006 to develop residential and commercial properties. He has a long-standing commitment to his native City.
For more information on the CityPlex12 Newark, please visit our website at www.cityplex12.com
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