ST. PETERSBURG — Muvico Theater at BayWalk, which changed hands late last year, will keep its name.
The downtown St. Petersburg movie house is among nine Muvico complexes in Florida, California and Illinois that were acquired by Carmike Cinemas in November. Muvico has anchored the failed shopping center — now closed and being rebuilt as the Shops at St. Pete by new owner Bill Edwards — since 2000.
While the St. Petersburg theater will continue to be known as Muvico, there could be other changes under the Edwards Group. Rick Baker, the group's president, said last spring that if the Shops needs more room, a part of the Muvico theater property could become retail space.
"That possibility does exist," said Robert Rinderman, a Carmike spokesman. "We are in discussion with the landlord, but no final determination has been reached."
Rinderman added that in coming weeks, Carmike plans to introduce several promotions at the theater's concessions. Moviegoers will be able to get a free refill of a large popcorn and a large fountain drink on the day of purchase, or take advantage of an annual refillable popcorn bucket that can be refilled at a discount, he said.
Even before its purchase, Carmike, which is based in Columbus, Ga., owned more than 200 theaters in 36 states. Its acquisition of Muvico Entertainment in Fort Lauderdale means the company now also owns three other theaters in the Tampa Bay area: Starlight 20, Centro Ybor 15 and Palm Harbor 10.
Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283.