Raleigh Street Cinemas opening Friday

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 3:53 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - The Raleigh Street Cinemas in Downtown Bluefield will open its doors to the public Friday night, giving area moviegoers a new option for a theater experience.

With two 50-seat theaters that feature recliner chairs and state-of-the-art, “immersive” sound, amenities also include traditional concessions, a bar serving beer and wine, and a lounge area.

“We are very excited about our grand opening,” said Brian Tracey, executive director of the Bluefield Arts Revitalization Corp. (BARC), which operates the cinemas as well as the Granada Theater and the Bluefield Arts Center,

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first movie to be screened in the new theater will be the megahit “Barbie” at 7 p.m., he said. The other theater will show the critically acclaimed documentary, “King Coal,” starting at 7:15 p.m.

Tracey said “King Coal” is an “evocative film made by West Virginia native and award-winning filmmaker Elaine McMillon Sheldon.”

The film, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, documents the history of the coal-mining industry and its impact on the people of the coalfields of West Virginia and Appalachia.

The Raleigh Street Cinemas is located in the bottom floor of the Granada Theater but has a separate entrance on Raleigh Street. Tickets for showings at either theater can be purchased online or at the door and the cost is $9 per ticket.

“We want to make this an affordable place to bring the whole family,” Tracey said. “Concessions prices are also equally affordable.”

The theaters will be showing mostly first-run movies, he said, but the Christmas season will bring special showings of holiday classics.

Tracey said plans for other special events are in the works, including film festivals.

“This is really the perfect setting for a film festival,” he said, perhaps involving other theaters in the region. “I think this would be a very attractive place for not only audiences to see films that you would not see otherwise but at a festival, but also for filmmakers and studios to bring their movies here … I can’t think of a better venue in the region for a film festival. Look for that in the years to come.”