HAMPTON-Movie buffs will have a new cinema choice when checking out the latest releases in Hampton Roads. EVO Entertainment is moving into Peninsula Town Center this spring. The facility will offer an eight-screen movie theater with a total of 689 seats in addition to a 10-lane bowling alley, arcade, restaurant and bar. This will be the first Virginia location for the entertainment group, which is based out of Texas.
They’re moving into the space that was formerly occupied by Studio Movie Grill, which temporarily closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic then permanently went out of business in January 2021. Chris Cline, Chief Development Officer with EVO Entertainment, said the one-stop entertainment destination is expected to bring approximately 100 to 150 new jobs to Hampton.
The dining portion of the entertainment center will offer high-end menu choices. Items can be pre-ordered and then delivered to the theater, bowling alley, or arcade.
“We’re a full-scratch kitchen and even grind our own burgers,” said Cline. “Our signature burgers are just to die for.”
He said that the company focuses on hiring skilled culinary teams and creating menus well-suited for individual territories.
“We don’t slack on anything as far as bringing our culinary people in and putting together the right kind of menu,” said Cline.
Currently, there are seven other locations in Texas operating under the EVO brand, but the entertainment company recently acquired Showbiz Cinemas as well.
“It had a large entertainment component that fit well with our model, so right now, combined, we have 14 locations in the Texas and Oklahoma region,” said Cline.
The entertainment group tends to choose locations that are family-friendly.
“We’re looking for opportunities right now and thought the location was in a great area,” said Cline. “The Hampton location is close to a lot of military folks, and we love the military; has good demographics; and is located within a great center. It has great bones and just needed someone to come in and put some love into it while trying to embrace our neighborhoods. That’s what we’re all about.”
The exact opening date hasn’t been determined, but Cline hopes to be open by the end of April or beginning of May. He said there are a lot of determining factors out of the company’s control due to supply-chain issues, but that, if things go as planned, they’ll be open before summer.
“There are a lot of things we’re trying to bring to the facility prior to opening,” said Cline. “We could open at the end of April, but I’m trying to give people expectations of opening pre-summer. That way, if we open at the end of April or mid-May, everyone is happy.”
EVO Entertainment was founded in 2014 by CEO Mitch Roberts when he was only 18 years old. Working in the entertainment business runs in the family. As a fourth-generation exhibitor, Roberts is the grandson of Lee Roy Mitchell, a founder and chairman with Cinemark. EVO Entertainment’s Hampton location is located at 4401 W. Claiborne Square. For more information on the company, click here.