Fridley opens new movie theater in Muscatine

March  14, 2013

People who went to the movies in Muscatine yesterday only had four films to choose from, but today they have at least twice as many. R. L. Fridley Theatres, based in Des Moines, closed the Plaza Four at the mall, and today opened The Palms Theatres.

Operations Director, Russell Vannorsdel, says Fridley employed 12-15 people at the Muscatine Mall location, but hired another 20 to work at the new complex. It's located along Highway 61, at the end of Mulberry Avenue. "We own all the land and the outlots, so we'll have land to sell for restaurants and other retailers. I'd say there will be a lot of traffic on Palms Drive."

One of the ten new theaters features a three-story screen with state-of-the-art digital and audio systems, including 40 speakers. All of the rooms use digital projection and have stadium seating.        

Another theater has been set aside for adults only, because they'll be allowed to buy drinks at a portable bar. It's a first for Fridley, which owns more than 20 theaters in Iowa and Nebraska. And Vannorsdel says it took a lot of work.

"I think we have at least five distributors to get the major beers, wine and liquor. It'll be a simple line-up, but you'll be able to enjoy a drink while you're at the theater."

The Palms Theatres held a ribbon cutting this morning, and the first movie to be screened will be Oz, the Great and Powerful.