Same tune, but a new lyric

The Lyric 3 Cinemas sign goes up on the New Ulm movie theatre, replacing the AMC sign. The theatre will re-open on Friday, June 7. (Photo courtesy of Steven Sherman)

NEW ULM — Last week the AMC movie theatre closed, but on Friday, June 7, it will re-open as the Lyric 3 Cinemas.

The theatre was sold to Phoenix Theatre Entertainment, a Knoxville, Tenn.-based theatre management group. They currently manage or own 111 screens at 12 locations in nine states. They are privately owned and were founded in 2001.

President and CEO Phil Zacheretti said this is the first Phoenix theatre to open in Minnesota.

A Lyric 3 Cinemas sign was installed over the theatre Monday, replacing the AMC sign. The sign also promises new luxury recliners will be part of the changes coming to New Ulm’s downtown theatre.

Zacheretti said the plan is to have the reclining seats installed before November 1, ahead of the holiday season. The new luxury, electric reclining seats will have extra padding for comfort and style. Attached trays will accommodate snacks and beverages. The new reclining seats are the latest trend in movie theatres around the country

Other renovations are planned, including exterior paint improvements and new concessions stand.

“After the renovations, this fall, New Ulm and the surrounding area will finally have a luxury theatre unlike any other currently available to them,” Zacheretti said in a press release. “Phoenix Theatres Entertainment, LLC’s mission is to help local owners of theatres maintain a quality venue in their community. Around the country, too many small-town theatres have closed and forced moviegoers to drive to other cities and counties to enjoy a movie.”

Zacheretti said his company “recognizes the importance of keeping the theatre open as part of a vibrant downtown business district and chose Phoenix to manage and provide a first-rate movie-going experience for not only New Ulm residents and visitors but for those of surrounding communities as well.”

All employees, including manager Brandon Jackson with 17 years of service, will transition employment to the theatre.

The theater was closed for the last week to allow AMC to move its equipment out and for Phoenix to move the new equipment into the building.

The theatre will feature all first-run Hollywood films.

This is not the first movie theatre named “Lyric” to operate in downtown New Ulm. In 1930, a movie theatre named Lyric began operating at 9 S. Minnesota St. It closed in 1955 and the marquee was removed.

Zacheretti said the name Lyric was chosen to acknowledge this previous movie theatre from New Ulm’s past.

For its first weekend, the theatre will screen “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “Dark Phoenix” and “Aladdin.”

(Spelling of ‘theatre’ as per company preference)