The theater isn’t quite open yet in Indian Land, but signs of it and of the next commercial destination along the panhandle are now showing.
RedStone is readying to open. The eventual 310,000-square-foot center will reshape the stretch of U.S. 521 at its S.C. 160 intersection.
The big draw will be RedStone 14, a 14-screen movie theater from Stone Theatres. But it isn’t alone. Restaurants include Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Jackson’s Java, Margarita’s, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Portofino’s Ristorante Italiano e Pizzeria, Red Rocks Cafe, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Viva Chicken Peruvian Rotisserie Joint, WAFU Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar and Which Wich Superior Sandwiches.
Other tenants include iVision, Lee Nails Spa, Med First, ReVive Spa, Sharonview Federal Credit Union and Tide Dry Cleaners.
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All those additions and more come just in the first phase, on 47 acres with almost 133,000 square feet of new commercial space.
Developer Mike Bilodeau said he hasn’t confirmed an opening date for the theater or surrounding businesses, but it’s on schedule with what his group projected for a while now.
“It’s going to be fairly shortly,” Bilodeau said. “We’ll definitely be open in March, maybe sooner.”
Buildings have been turned over to tenants, who have to do their own upfits to get the spaces ready for customers. It’s expected openings will begin and continue on a rolling basis for a while.
“There are several tenants who are in various stages of getting ready,” Bilodeau said. “Their openings are going to be tied to when they complete their upfits. It’s kind of an individual tenant decision. It’s kind of up to them.”
The developer still has a little paving work to do, which brings weather into the projection. But Bilodeau is confident.
“We’re nearing completion,” he said.
Construction at RedStone began in early 2016. Now “early to mid-March” is the expected opening for the theater, said Marie Cole with its marketing group.
Stone Theatres has five locations, four in North Carolina and one at Myrtle Beach. The nearest to Indian Land is in Indian Trail, N.C. The company offers weekly discounted movies, flashback cinema showing classics on the big screen, sensory friendly screenings and more.
“We plan on doing those same programs,” Cole said. “For example, the flashback cinema which is every Sunday and Wednesday, we show classic films.”
Theaters also have children’s shows during the summer, at discounted rates. There are special showings of sensory friendly films in addition to the monthly offerings, and theaters use the latest technology Cole said guests will have to experience to understand.
“We’re still working hard on the inside,” she said.
The latest technology and programs are part of the picture, but so is the new theater’s location. Project leaders expect to draw a big crowd from the growing Indian Land and Fort Mill communities used to traveling for their movies.
“There’s a lot of people who live south of the (state) line, and they head north to Ayrsley or somewhere else,” Cole said. “We’ve now met them in the middle.”
For 19-year Fort Mill resident Joe Hazelwood, there are several reasons to like the new theater’s location. Hazelwood is opening Which Wich within walking distance of the movies.
“I live on the Indian Land side of Fort Mill, off of South Dobys Bridge Road,” he said. “My neighbors and everyone around me is all excited of course about the Which Wich, but also the center itself.”
Hazelwood worked in restaurants and food industry prior, he said, and looked for an investment as he came out of a corporate job. He’d traveled while working for a food distributor, and recalled one of his favorite stops.
“I discovered Which Wich when I’d go out to lunch with my peers, and thought it was really good,” he said.
Now he’s staking his business on RedStone. Hazelwood has his franchise rights for Fort Mill and Indian Land, and would like to open a second location within a year or so, but saw the growing Indian Land area as a great starting point. His restaurant will open March 8.
“Indian Land presented the opportunity,” Hazelwood said. “Indian Land is known as the fastest-growing area in South Carolina. You couple that with all the companies moving in, and it just makes it a great combination.”