It’s been more than two decades since San Antonians paid as much as $1.50 a ticket to see second-run films at South Park Movies 4 Theater at South Park Mall. The old venue operated by the local Santikos Entertainment chain closed in the mid-1990s to make way for expanding stores at South Park Mall, a longtime major shopping destination on San Antonio’s South Side. But this December, EVO Entertainment will bring a holiday gift to local moviegoers in the form of EVO Entertainment South Park at the mall.
In a press release, company officials said EVO Entertainment South Park will feature 12 screens, dine-in cinema service with luxury recliner seating, a scratch kitchen and bar, a video and redemption arcade, 14 bowling lanes, virtual reality experiences, and bumper cars.
EVO Entertainment CEO Mitchell Roberts said his company is eager to provide a variety of first-run movies and other entertainment offerings in a state-of-the-art venue on the South Side. Roberts cited recent residential and business growth in south San Antonio, partially spurred by successful conversions of former military bases into the Brooks and Port San Antonio mixed-use developments, and by the Toyota Texas pickup assembly plant, and the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus.
Additionally, Santikos Entertainment now operates the Mayan Palace movie theater near South Park Mall and EVO Entertainment’s planned venue. City Base Cinema, an independent multiplex, is located down the road from South Park Mall and Santikos Mayan Palace.
“This was the perfect opportunity to join a community we’ve been watching for a while now. San Antonio’s South Side is one of the most vibrant, active and rapidly growing areas in the city, and we’re thrilled to bring quality family entertainment to the neighborhood,” Roberts said.
According to the release, EVO Entertainment South Park will have 175 employees. Anyone interested in working at the new movie theater may visit www.evocinemas.com/jobs.
Economic development officials in south San Antonio say they, too, are excited about EVO Entertainment’s plans. Gabriela Cadena, chief executive officer for the organization Southside First, said cinemas are a touchpoint for people, whether they seek brief respite from happenings in their lives or want to experience cultural phenomena such as the popular Marvel Comics movies. Cadena also said EVO’s new movie theater will add to growth on the South Side.
“We are looking forward to having a new cinema theater that includes a bowling alley and arcade games on the South Side. Theater is a great way to showcase stories and allow us to be transported to different times and places,” Cadena said.
“There are so many good businesses expanding and growing in the South Side. We invite everyone from near and far to experience South Side hospitality.”