HYDE PARK — The rumors were true: Hyde Park Village will once again have a movie theater.
The village's developer and Cobb Theatres announced this week that they will open a CineBistro in the Swann Avenue spot where the old Sunrise Cinemas used to operate.
CineBistro, which also recently opened at the new Grove shopping center in Wesley Chapel, will combine an upscale restaurant and bar with six theaters offering reserved dining table seating. The concept is a new venture by Cobb Theatres, with only a few locations nationwide (and a handful more expected to open in the next two years).
"This has dining, movies, the whole experience," Hyde Park Village developer David Wasserman told City Times this week. "And it works in a neighborhood like this because it's so unique."
The news may come as a surprise to the South Tampa residents who mourned their loss when Sunrise Cinemas closed two years ago. The theater, which was known for its indie and art films, was to be replaced by condos, part of a controversial $100-million overhaul of the struggling shopping hub.
Then two months ago, Hyde Park Village's property and leasing managers met with shop owners to tell them condos weren't coming after all. Hints of a major furniture store, rooftop dining, and the return of a movie theater circulated through the village, though Wasserman and general manager Susan Martin would not confirm the details at the time.
Wasserman said this is the first of many additions — including parking garage upgrades, storefront facelifts and outdoor artwork —that will be unveiled in upcoming months. He also felt confident that this type of theater, which will be for patrons 21 and older, will be more successful than the last.
"The old cinema was undercapitalized and undermanaged," Wasserman said. "This is part of a much stronger chain, and I think it'll be a great fit."
Emily Nipps can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3431.