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Movie theater will close Sept. 30

Odyssey Theater will be closing its three-screen theater at Prairie Hills Mall on Sept. 30 after the day's final evening showings. A new eight-screen theater in downtown Dickinson is expected to be opened in 2019. "We had tried to negotiate an ex...

Construction of a new Odyssey Theater eight-screen complex, to be located on Second Avenue, was delayed due to negotiations with neighboring Dickinson Post Office, but is still expected to begin work in Fall 2018. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
Odyssey Theaters will be closing its three-screen theater at Prairie Hills Mall on Sept. 30. A new eight-screen complex is expected to be completed in Summer 2019. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Odyssey Theater will be closing its three-screen theater at Prairie Hills Mall on Sept. 30 after the day's final evening showings.

A new eight-screen theater in downtown Dickinson is expected to be opened in 2019.

"We had tried to negotiate an extension to our lease with the mall but we were unsuccessful with that," Steven L. Tripp, Odyssey president, told The Dickinson Press Tuesday. "It leaves us little choice. Our lease is up on Sept. 30."

According to Peggy O'Brien, Prairie Hills Mall general manager, Odyssey had requested an amendment to their lease reducing their lease term to create an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2018, which was granted.

"This new term was intended to allow Odyssey adequate time for construction of their new theatre," O'Brien said. "At the time of the request, Prairie Hills Mall determined to pursue the best interests of the mall and the community by exploring options for the vacated unit."

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Construction of a new $3.5 million complex on Second Street have been delayed over an alley being vacated behind Dickinson Post Office, which will be shared with the theater.

This required Odyssey to replat the land and resubmit its plans to the City Commissioners.

Those plans will be brought to the commissioners for action on Tuesday, at their next regular meeting.

"We'll close shortly thereafter," Bryan Sieve, Odyssey vice president, said. "Bids are out right now, so we should have a contractor selected by that time. It will be up to the contractors to start, but we've told the contractor to waste no time."

Sieve anticipates a new theater being completed in late spring or early summer 2019.

"They'll always hedge their bets based on winter construction, but the type of construction we have is fairly adaptable to winter construction," he said. "The guidance we've received so far is there won't be any delay."

Delays are common when working with so many entities, Tripp said.

"We hoped to have the building standing by this point," he said, "but it's beyond our control when you have to deal with an entity such as the post office, which, they've been fabulous by the way."

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Odyssey has had a movie theater in Prairie Hills Mall for over six years.

"We had hoped to be able to stay open to do more of a seamless transition," Tripp said, "but we were unsuccessful in coming to an agreement with the mall."

Odyssey is planning special events for the closing weekend, Tripp said.

"We're probably going to do some customer appreciation stuff to deplete concession sales and things like that on the final weekend, but we haven't finalized that yet," he said. "Things like passes or any instruments we have out there, our refillable buckets, will all be extended and honored at the new theater."

Tripp said he is excited to see the new theater completed.

"We just opened a new theater over a year ago in Watertown, South Dakota, and the people absolutely love it," he said. "This is going to be very similar. In some ways, even a little bit nicer than we did in Watertown."

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