A new theater complex will be coming to Richland in the new year.
Fairchild Cinemas, owned by Jeff and Lisa Fairchild, plans to build a 12-screen theater with 1,800 seats off Queensgate Drive at Interstate 182.
The Fairchilds intend to purchase 11.5 acres from the Kennewick Irrigation District, whose board agreed this week to accept a price of $1.29 million.
Jeff Fairchild said the new theater complex will be similar to the cinemas off Road 68 in west Pasco, but will have about 200 more seats.
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The Fairchilds also own theaters in Moses Lake and Ephrata.
The property, located behind Home Depot and Gold's Gym, is large enough to handle a future expansion of the complex if warranted, Fairchild said.
"It (also) gives us the option of developing a couple of other commercial pads," he said.
Fairchild said he is making applications for necessary permits, and construction should begin within months.
Richland has been without a movie theater for about five years after the three-screen Uptown Cinemas closed in February 2006 when the building was sold.
Sally Luebben, manager of Boehms Candy and Gift, 2727 Queensgate Drive, welcomes having the new theater.
"It should be good for business by bringing in some foot traffic," she said.
The Fairchild Cinemas opened in May 2007 in Pasco, a year after the Uptown closed.
Fairchild spent $6 million to build the 42,000-square-foot complex off Road 68.
The property sale for the Queensgate site is pending, but a sales agreement is expected to be signed soon. The price comes to about $29 a square foot.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org