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Developer Wants Modern-Day Entertainment Experience In Tulsa Shopping Center

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Texas developer plans to spend $3 million to rebuild part of a south Tulsa shopping center.

The developer wants to build Tulsa's first movie theater with a restaurant that serves food and alcohol directly to the seats.

There are plenty of businesses open in the shopping center at 68th and Memorial, but also plenty of empty storefronts.

Inside the Baskin Robbins store, the cake business is flourishing, but the owner said business is slowing down, and it's not just the weather.

"During the weekdays there's not much happening, to be honest. Our busiest times are the weekend," Kal Patel said.

He's hopeful a redevelopment will bring more customers for everyone.

The developer's plan focuses on just the middle of the U-shaped shopping center that surrounds a large parking lot, the existing movie theater and Windsor Market.

The new project is called Cinergy Tulsa; a destination movie theater with a restaurant, bar and 14 lanes of bowling.

Developer Jeff Benson said it's what gets young people out spending money.

"They want to have an experience when they shop, and an experience when they're entertained, and we're the modern-day experience of a movie theater, and bowling alley, and things you can't do online," Benson said.

The City Council looked at the plans and is likely to approve a tax rebate for the developer that encourages new uses for declining shopping centers.

It could amount to a half million dollars over ten years from new sales tax generated by the project.

The ice cream store owner is confident a new theater will bring in more customers for everyone nearby.

"People aren't going to rush to see a two- or three-year-old movie. If you had the new Star Wars movie there would be a queue outside," Patel said.

Wednesday, the developer said he hopes to get the theater open next fall.

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