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Work on El Con theater starts

While Park Mall has announced grander plans, El Con Mall has moved into action more quickly.

El Con Mall’s former AMC theaters, Steinfeld’s department store and a few other stores in the north wing of the mall have been torn down to make way for a new 20-screen Century Theatres

complex, which is scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day.

Construction will begin tomorrow, the company said.

San Francisco-based Century Theatres

originally announced the movie complex would open in July.

The Century El Con Mall theaters will have 20 screens, stadium-style seating – which creates a steeper slope and unobstructed views, comfortable high-back seats that can be turned into love seats, state-of-the-art digital stereo sound, a gourmet cafe and even a customer service counter.

At Park Mall, plans call for a bigger Dillard’s, a food court, more parking, additional stores and restaurants, and a new theater complex.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. purchased Park Mall in 1996 for $50 million.

The two-phase project will be completed in fall of 2000.

Park Mall’s plans call for expanding its total retail space from 850,000 square feet to more than 1.3 million square feet. Its Dillard’s store will grow from one story to two and will more than double in size to 200,000 square feet.

While rumors in the retail industry here have El Con courting Wal-Mart, El Con owners Foster Kivel and Mike Papanikolas have refused to comment or elaborate on their plans.

PHOTO: SHARA R. WELLS/Tucson Citizen

Now that demolition is complete, construction on a new 20-screen theater begins tomorrow.

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