TAMPA — International Plaza won’t be home to a new CMX Cinemas dine-in movie theater.
The construction for the proposed theater, as well as a bowling and bocce ball restaurant, hadn’t begun ahead of the coronavirus outbreak, according to International Plaza. Taubman Properties, which owns the mall, said it never signed a lease with the movie theater company, which has since filed for bankruptcy.
“While CMX may have filed permits, that’s a standard course of action prior to a lease being signed to speed up the process of getting to construction, and ultimately to opening, if a lease is signed,” Taubman said in a statement.
But that never happened and likely won’t happen — at least not anytime soon — according to recently filed bankruptcy documents.
Pinstripes, an Italian restaurant with bocce ball and luxe bowling alleys, and CMX Cinema confirmed last fall they had plans to open together in Tampa by spring 2021. News of the could-be mall anchors became public when construction plans were filed with the city. Taubman said in its recent statement that “it never confirmed” CMX was going to become a tenant.
But in statement to the Tampa Bay Times last year, the mall company’s CEO, William Taubman, said adding the Pinstripes and Cinemex would solidify International Plaza as a “dominant destination”.
CMX is the Miami-based, U.S. subsidiary of Mexican company Cinemex. The U.S. portion of the company filed for bankruptcy in Florida court in April. Its legal filings blamed COVID-19 for the company’s financial struggle, as it was forced to close all of its theaters.
CMX did not respond to requests for comment by made by phone message and email. But its bankruptcy filing lays out its existing and planned theaters, which include cinemas in Atlanta, Naples and New Jersey that were all already under construction before the pandemic. The filling also says Cinemex is seeking to build new theaters in North Carolina and at another location in New Jersey. Tampa’s proposed theater isn’t mentioned.
Taubman declined to speak about the future of Pinstripes or if another movie theater might join the project.
“We continually speak with a variety of tenants to curate the right merchandise mix for International Plaza and our other properties,” the mall owner said. “We will make an announcement regarding new tenants when it is appropriate to do so.”
Taubman deferred to Pinstripes to speak of its “corporate plans and construction schedule.”
Pinstripes did not respond to request for comment made by email to its public relations office.