BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Carmike Cinemas, Inc., of Columbus, Ga., has purchased the Towne Crossing 8 theatre in Greeneville from Knoxville-based Phoenix Big Cinemas Management LLC.
The transaction is effective on Thursday, Dec. 13, according to Terrell Mayton, director of marketing for Carmike.
Terms of the sale have not been announced.
The Towne Crossing 8 building and property are owned by Bewley Properties Inc., of Greeneville, and Carmike has signed a long-term lease with Bewley Properties, said Kent Bewley, president and CEO.
"We're excited," Bewley said. "We think the Greeneville movie experience will get even better with Carmike, and we look forward to working with them."
Carmike plans to immediately convert the local cinema to digital technology and expand 3D capacity, Mayton said.
"These theaters are very well operated. They'll make a nice addition to the Carmike circuit," he said in a telephone interview.
"Carmike intends to be a long-term citizen of the community and very involved in Greeneville," Mayton said.
Carmike Cinemas bills itself as a U.S. leader in digital cinema and 3D cinema and is the fourth-largest motion picture exhibitor in the U.S.
Carmike common stock trades on the NASDAQ exchange, and the company has nearly 250 theaters and 2,242 movie screens in 35 states, Mayton said.
Phoenix Big Cinemas now operates 22 movie theaters in 13 states after selling theaters in Greeneville and Madisonville, Ky., to Carmike.
Phil Zacheretti, president and CEO of Phoenix Big Cinemas, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Carmike Cinemas' business model places a focus on theater locations in small-to-mid-sized communities, according to the company's website for investors.
The company bills itself as "America's Hometown Theatre."
Mayton said that the current staff will be retained at Towne Crossing 8.
"They've done a great job," Mayton said of the former owner's management of Towne Crossing 8.