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School’s Out, Show’s Out

New B&B theater begins construction across the street from LHS.

Photo+by+Connor+Callahan
Photo by Connor Callahan

Photo by Connor Callahan

Photo by Connor Callahan

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B&B might as well stand for bigger & better. The new B&B movie theater location around the corner LHS was announced over a year ago after the old one closed somewhat unexpectedly. Production on the new theater is currently in progress and owners are hoping for an opening date in June.

“The entire old shopping center was owned by Kmart and they sold it to a new developer,” B&B owner Bob Bagby said. “The new developer had plans to tear down the entire center and redo it. We had discussions about staying but they had a different concept in mind so we bought the land across the street.”

B&B stands for Bagby and Bills, the surnames of the two people who started the company in 1924. Starting in Gladstone, the company has now spread to over 50 locations across seven states and is currently the eighth largest theater chain in the United States. However, even after building 400 screens across the nation, this new theater is not just another theater for the owners.

“It’s going to be B&B’s flagship theater. We operate 400 screens across seven states. This is where we live so we’re excited and are making it a very special place,” Bagby said. “It will be state of the art. Every seat will be a luxury electric recliner. It’ll have a full bar and grill with food to go. We will feature two B&B grand screens, which are our premium large format screens. They are some of the largest screens in the nation.”

LHS Students have mixed feelings on the new theater being built so near to the school. Many students are ecstatic about the idea of being a hundred yards from a movie theater, especially on Friday nights to grab the best seats faster. Other students, however, are concerned about the impact on the school.

“I think it’s great that we’re going to have a closer theater but I don’t like the location of it,” sophomore Abigail Shemwell said. “It blocks the school and I don’t think it looks very good there. It’s also an issue because now sophomores like me can’t park there. I wish that it would be in the old location where the strip mall was.”

Originally, there were some rumors that B&B would allow students to park in their parking lot but so far there has been no final decision made.

“We have no formal agreement with B&B and the district,” athletic director Jason Cahill said. “We have thrown around some ideas but we have nothing in place in a cooperative manner in terms of parking. Will some people park at B&B on a friday night for a football game? Probably, but that will be B&B’s responsibility to police that. Are people going to park on Liberty Public School property for a movie premiere? Probably, and that will be our responsibility to police that as well. We are going to be great community partners with them and let them know what nights we have events here.”

According to Cahill, parking is not a major concern for LHS at the moment.

“In our long range planning for our campus, we do have some additional parking needs that we’re gonna have to meet,” Cahill said. “Right now, we don’t need to meet those. Everyday, we still have an additional 30-40 parking spots in the back that we don’t have filled.”

Parking isn’t the only concern that Shemwell and many other students have.

“I think it will cause a lot more traffic,” Shemwell said. “Especially on Friday nights, because families with little kids will be going to the movies and students will be trying to get to a basketball or football game. It’ll be a lot more hectic in the area.”

Community members have also had concerns about the location of the theater because Liberty events are known to get loud.

“There’s been a lot of concern with the location because of events like Liberty football games and the noise,” Bagby said. “Our walls are made out of concrete and there’s going to be all kinds of insulation so we don’t foresee any instances of sound leaking into our auditoriums during football games.”

Other students and community members celebrate the benefits that the new theater will bring to LHS and its students.

“I think it’ll bring a lot of new job opportunities, especially for students who maybe can’t drive and need an easily accessible place to work,” freshman Aidan Thieme said. “It’s also just a closer form of entertainment.”

B&B Theaters hire at age 16 and are looking to hire 60 new employees for the new Liberty location. Some students, like junior Jake Kane, are excited for the things B&B will bring besides movies.

“I’m so excited for the movie theater snacks, I love them so much,” Kane said. “I know they’re overpriced, but they’re just so good.”

Thankfully, B&B is looking to accommodate Liberty’s snack lovers with various cafes and snack stands in the lobby.

Overall, students seem to agree that having a movie theater closer to LHS is easier than driving 15 minutes to the NorthGlen 14 location.

“I think the location is a little odd and I think that’ll show on nights where there’s a football game,” Kane said. “However, considering the fact that B&B was the only thing open back when the Liberty Commons was still up proves that a movie theater is something that everyone needs and wants.”

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School’s Out, Show’s Out