CENTERVILLE -- When the first shovel hit the ground last fall for the construction of the 14-auditorium Megaplex Theatres at Legacy Crossing, the general manager of the theater chain guaranteed it would be open in time for the Nov. 18 premiere of the third film of the "Twilight" series.
Builders beat that Hollywood mark by nearly a month, with the theater in Centerville set to open to the public at 10 a.m. Friday.
"One of our large auditoriums is sold out for 'Twilight,' " said theater chain general manager Blake Andersen.
He said this is the first time the chain has sold out an auditorium before even opening a theater.
On Wednesday, theater representatives provided a special sneak preview of what the 90,000-square-foot structure entails.
The theater, just southwest of Interstate 15 where it intersects with Parrish Lane, employs about 100 full-time and part-time workers, said Jeff Whipple, who does advertising, marketing and public relations work for the theater chain.
The theater was built to accommodate 3,400 guests at a time, Whipple said. It includes a 610-seat IMAX theater, which is projected to bring in about 1 million guests during the course of a year.
Of those who attend the theater, roughly 60 percent will purchase their movie tickets online, Whipple said.
In addition to a variety of snacks and concessions, including hamburgers, the theater also has 120 automated digital video boards that show movie trailers and provide showtime information.
"This is the most automated theater in the state," Whipple said.
The theater also offers a private gathering room, food court, drive-up ticket kiosk, gallery of framed movie posters and a Ford Mustang racing car at the theater entrance.
Project manager Dick Cornell said the theater is a "remarkable facility" and will be viewed as a prototype as the theater chain looks to expand in the future.
"It's fun talking about the bells and whistles on this," he said.
And it was no mistake that the theater was built in Centerville, just off I-15 and the Legacy Parkway.
Larry H. Miller Group of Companies CEO Greg Miller said the theater segment of the company is doing well, and they decided to build in Davis County based on market demand and to fill a void.
Andersen agreed, saying, "We needed a theater in Davis County. Our hope is that this becomes a gathering place for the county." He envisions the theater and its food court operation as being "a one-stop destination location."
"It's exciting to have more entertainment options," said Centerville Mayor Ron Russell. He said he sees the theater serving as a stimulus for the city by attracting additional commercial, retail and residential development on the city's west side.
"From our perspective, we were excited to hear they were interested in that site," Russell said.
He pointed out that the volume of people the theater will draw will certainly generate additional interest in that area, so "it's a nice addition, not just for Centerville, but for the county."
Megaplex Theatres operates five locations from Lehi to Ogden, with 70 screens and strategic partnerships with the IMAX screen at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City and the Mammoth Screen at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.