Grab your popcorn: Hutto is set to open its first movie theater next year
Hutto is expected to open its first movie theater early next year.
The $25 million entertainment venue will feature 12 movie screens, with in-theater dining options and recliner seating, as well as 12 bowling lanes and 7,200 square feet of gaming, attractions and virtual reality, according to a press release from the city.
The 53,300-square-foot space will also include a bar-lounge area, patio and private event space.
Bob Bednar, a communication studies professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, told KUT it’s an interesting time for a city to be investing in a movie theater.
"We have so many choices about how we want to watch our movies, especially after the pandemic," he said. "You can watch it in your house, on your phone."
Still, Bednar said he believes "there’s just always going to be a need culturally to experience culture together."
That can be achieved by simply choosing to go watch a movie in theater, he said, as opposed to streaming it online at home on your TV or phone.
"I think the whole social aspect of it is important for big cities, but I think even more so for smaller towns like Hutto," Bednar said.
"This is something I know as a teacher — there’s something about watching movies together, that you start to think about how somebody else is watching the movie at the same time," he said. "It starts to enrich your experience of it, and there’s always that moment where you watch a movie and at the end of it, people applaud. No one can hear that applause except for us. And so it becomes about us."
"People are getting back out and back into circulation on a more regular basis," Bob Farley, the City of Hutto's economic development director, said.
"We're just excited to have more opportunities for Huttoans and more opportunities for everybody in the northern part of the Austin metro," he said. "We're certainly hopeful that people from around the greater Austin area will come up and visit."
The city is partnering with Austin-based EVO Entertainment Group to build the venue. Construction is set to begin this spring.