FARMINGTON -- A company with deep roots in Utah, including a plethora of Beehive State-grown executives, hopes to make a big splash in the Top of Utah with the introduction of a 14-screen digital theater at Station Park on the same evening the last installment of "Harry Potter" is set to open.
Cinemark will open its complex July 15 at the southern end of Station Park.
One of the first movies to be shown on the new screens will be "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II," which opens at local theaters July 15.
The 54,000-square-foot complex is the second major business to open at Station Park, which is expected to bring a diverse mix of commercial enterprises to Davis County.
"Cinemark got its start in the greater Salt Lake area more than 25 years ago, so the state of Utah has always been considered a second home," said Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark.
Today, the company is based in Plano, Texas, and has 431 theaters and 4,941 screens in the U.S. and around the world. It is the third-largest theater company in the world.
The new complex will feature Cinemark NextGen theater auditoriums with wall-to-wall screens, 100 percent digital projection and an enhanced sound system equipped with 7.1 digital surround sound.
The lobby will offer what is described as "innovative self-serve concession stands" with popcorn, Coca-Cola fountain drinks and candy.
The Cinemark XD Extreme Digital Cinema auditorium in the complex will be the second one in Northern Utah.
Stock said the challenge is to make a trip to the theater a great experience for moviegoers.
Opening on the night "Harry Potter" debuts is perfect timing, he said.
"For us, we're all about those movies. It's a great time to do it."
With changing technology, Stock said, another major challenge for theaters is to give the customer something bigger and better than they can see at home. He predicts the new digital theaters will deliver just that.
Adding to that experience is the ability to purchase tickets and reserve seating at the theater from home.
Craig Trottier, vice president of development for CenterCal, the developer of Station Park, said Cinemark has not cut any corners in building the new complex.
"It's state of the art and has the latest and greatest technology. It's the flagship of the entire chain," he said.
Stock's interest in the development goes beyond just another complex in a long chain of theaters. Stock is a Roy native who has grown with the company.
He fell in love with the movie business in high school while working at a drive-in. And, although he pursued a career in medicine, he found the draw of the theater too compelling to ever leave.
Stock is not the only Cinemark executive with strong local ties.
Senior Vice President of New Technologies Rob Carmony is a Weber State University graduate, and Vice President of Operations Jeff Stone is a Roy High graduate who became a theater manager in Layton for Consolidated Theaters before he joined Cinemark in 1985.
Vice President of Purchasing Steve Owen started as an assistant manager for Cinemark Newgate Movies 4 in Ogden in 1997, and Kim Phillips, a Cinemark regional manager, grew up working in Utah theaters and still lives in Syracuse. Phillips attended University of Utah and Weber State.
Cinemark's is not the only new commercial complex opening in the $250 million development in Farmington this month.
Ross clothing store is expected to open there July 18, followed shortly after by Sports Authority and HomeGoods.
Trottier said 750,000 square feet of new retail space will be open in the development before the end of the year.