$1.43M renovation bringing major upgrades, new owners to Defiance movie theater

Phoenix Theatres plans to open the company’s first location in Ohio by February 2023
The Cinema 9 auditoriums at the Northtowne Mall in Defiance will get a complete makeover by new...
The Cinema 9 auditoriums at the Northtowne Mall in Defiance will get a complete makeover by new owners Phoenix Theatres.(Tony Geftos)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 11:28 PM EDT
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DEFIANCE, Ohio (WTVG) - A major overhaul and upgrade is underway at the Cinema 9, including replacing the screens, redeveloping the sound system, and installing heated, reclining seats. It’s all courtesy of the new owners Phoenix Theatres.

“Yes, everybody’s favorite amenity is the heated, reclining love seats,” said Jordan Hohman, Executive in Charge of Project Development for Phoenix Theatres. “Every seat in every auditorium is going to be converted over to those seats.”

The team at Phoenix Theatres is bringing some TLC to the movies at the Northtowne Mall in Defiance. The theater, which went dark in June, is about to be reborn and rebranded as a Phoenix Theatre. It will be the 7th location for the Michigan-based company and its first in Ohio.

“We had a reception today that I have to comment on from the city where we walked in and it was almost a reception committee for us. And I had not received that in any other community in quite the same way. I mean, it was just overwhelming,” said Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres.

Jacobson has decades in the theater business and a track record of building them up as main attractions in malls, like the one at the Mall of Monroe. In addition to the heated, reclining love seats, the Phoenix Theatre in Defiance will have a cutting-edge audio system called Dolby ATMOS.

“In this particular circumstance, we’ve got nice wide auditoriums and I think we could really give these guys here in Defiance and in the community something they’ve never had before, which is a sound system that gonna just just blow you away. It’s like something you’d have to travel to, like, Disney World to hear,” explained Jacobson.

“For me, I think that a movie theater is a staple to the community, and I think that it’s like a library or a restaurant that everybody loves, and if you lose that, I think that part of that community goes with it, and I’m just glad that, you know, we’re able to take this opportunity to bring movies back to Defiance,” added Hohman.

The target date for the grand reopening of all nine auditoriums and a brand new expanded lobby and concession stand is February 2023. You can follow the progress by clicking here.

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