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In 2018, Sandhills Sentinel published several stories surrounding the difficulties experienced by Sandhills Cinema in Southern Pines. At one point, the movie theater was shut down by Southern Pines Fire Department for failing to pass a fire inspection. From 2015-2018 the theater had received a total of 187 violations.

All that is history now. Under new ownership, the theater that resides at 104 Brucewood Road has completed an impressive transformation and has been reborn.

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The new lobby at Paragon Sandhills. Beer and wines sales will soon be added.

In late 2018, Florida based Paragon Theaters acquired Sandhills Cinema and undertook an extensive remodeling project which lasted nine months and cost approximately $3 million, according to Paragon CEO Mike Whalen.

On Thursday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the improvements which included the installation of luxury leather recliners, an upgraded lobby and concession stand, renovated restrooms, common areas and parking lot. Food selection has been expanded and ticket purchases, in addition to reserved seating can now be done online. Beer and wine sales will be coming soon.

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Spiderman was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to add to the children’s excitement. 

The electric leather reclining seats, complete with footrest, and generous 8 foot spacing between rows is a game changer in the theater industry. There’s no climbing over people to get to your seat at Paragon. If only airlines would adopt this same approach.

According to Whalen, “There are less seats, but more business. Attendance has doubled.”

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Paragon Theater’s CEO Mike Whalen getting comfortable in the new reclining seats.

Formed in 2009, privately held Paragon Theaters boasts an impressive track record of acquiring older theaters and turning them into state of the art facilities with upscale amenities. All while maintaining affordable ticket prices for the public.

With Paragon’s recent acquisition in Southern Pines, the company owns two theaters in Virginia, two in North Carolina and four in Florida. Paragon does around $50 million a year in sales, according to Whalen.

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The newly renovated bathroom.

Forty people now work at Paragon Sandhills, and they are currently hiring for a variety of positions. Interested job applicants should stop in and ask to speak with the manager.

Paragon Theaters is also known for creating partnerships within the communities it serves, offering affordable field trips, premier fundraising programs, monthly sensory-friendly screenings, along with birthday and gaming party options.

Their $6 Tuesdays are popular – all movies are just $6 all day. The Paragon Theaters Diamond Rewards Loyalty Program allows loyal guests to earn points towards free tickets (as well as a free ticket on their birthday). These programs, along with their fantastic amenities and superior guest service, make Paragon Theaters the ultimate movie-going destination.

Guests can view showtimes, purchase tickets and track rewards by clicking here or on the new Paragon Theaters app. For more information, please visit Paragon Theaters’ social media channels.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Maggie Sergio.

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