The former Cinemark in The Woodlands’ Market Street mixed-use development will open as a new movie theater and restaurant concept operated by the parent company of Star Cinema Grill.
Houston-based Culinary Khancepts said it plans to open Reel Luxury Cinemas and The Audrey Restaurant & Bar at 9595 Six Pines Drive in July, although no exact date has been determined yet.
The company has signed a long-term lease for 20,600 square feet with Trademark Property Co., the Fort Worth-based developer of Market Street, according to Jason Ostrow, vice president of Culinary Khancepts.
Both the theater and the restaurant are new brands for the company. Reel Luxury Cinemas will be its third movie theater brand after Star Cinema Grill and Hollywood Palms, both of which offer seat food and beverage service as well. In addition, Culinary Khancepts is renovating the historic River Oaks Theatre as a new brand. It is expected to reopen by the end of the year.
As opposed to the large Star Cinema Grill theaters, Reel Luxury Cinemas, at 14,400 square feet, has a relatively small footprint. Like the Cinemark it replaces, it has five screens. Total capacity will be 325.
The theater will feature heated luxury recliners with blankets, including front-row chaise lounge loveseats. The food will be an “elevated version” of typical dine-in theater fare, Ostrow said.
The Audrey Restaurant & Bar will take up the 6,200-square-foot space formerly occupied by the Cinemark’s former lobby, concession stand and offices on the second floor and seat about 100. Large windows will allow diners to overlook the green space at Market Street. The restaurant will offer contemporary American cuisine similar to Liberty Kitchen, another brand owned by Culinary Khancepts, Ostrow said.
It includes a full bar, and there will be a brunch inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the weekends.
While the restaurant and the movie theater will share the kitchen, the menu will mostly differ, Ostrow said.
“It’s two separate businesses, so people will come to the Audrey for lunch or dinner and may not even ever know there’s a movie theater back there,” he said. “Or they may be going to the theater and stop at Audrey for a drink at the bar before or after.”
Culinary Khancept is not entirely new to The Woodlands. It also owns State Fare Kitchen & Bar at 1900 Hughes Landing.
In Greater Houston overall, the company owns and operates 14 businesses, including seven Star Cinema Grills.
“We really wanted to find a location that fit our vision of premium experiences and feel that there was no better fit than Market Street,” said Omar Khan, president and CEO of Culinary Khancepts, in a statement. “It’s a first-class development that aligns with our long-term vision. We are excited to be a part of the Woodlands community and can’t wait for our guests to experience our passion for what we do.”
Noemi Gonzalez, Market Street marketing director, said she was “thrilled” that Culinary Khancepts chose this area to debut its new brands.
“Through the years Market Street has welcomed many first-to-market tenants,” she said in a statement. “And we know our guests will love these elevated cinema and dining experiences.”
Both the restaurant and movie theater are now hiring servers, bussers, runners, cooks and guest attendants.
There are already developers asking about bringing Reel Luxury Cinemas to other locations, Ostrow said.
“There’s definitely going to be more Reel Luxury Cinemas,” he said. “I don’t know when, but there will be.”
Movie theaters suffered greatly during the Covid-19 pandemic, when theaters closed down and no new movies were released. Now, things look much brighter, and this summer a number of blockbusters are helping the industry, Ostrow said.
“Now the product is blowing strong, and we’re reinvesting in our businesses,” he said. “We’re remodeling; we’re putting in new seats in places; we’re signing new leases. And so we are much more optimistic about the cinema industry than we have been in a long time, and it feels good to be back doing that.”New Movie Theater, Restaurant to Open in Former Cinemark in The Woodlands