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New retail development in Creekside Park to bring The Woodlands’ first dine-in theater

December 17, 2018

Moviegoers in The Woodlands will soon be able to trade their popcorn, nachos and pickles for pizza, burgers and milkshakes.

Officials with the Howard Hughes Corp. on Friday, Dec. 13, announced the construction of a new retail development in The Village of Creekside Park village center, anchored by Austin-based cinema and dining concept Moviehouse & Eatery.

Construction of the 12-acre Creekside Park West development is expected to begin in late December on Kuykendahl Road between Creekside Forest Drive and West Harmony Place. The development will feature a Craftsman-style architectural style, outdoor green, fountain-side seating, and 30,000-square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Moviehouse & Eatery was an easy choice to anchor, said Rip Reynolds, the Howard Hughes Corporation’s vice president of leasing and commercial land. The concept will be the first dine-in theater in The Woodlands.

“We are always looking to bring new concepts to the area,” Reynolds said. “This was a location that had the right size land and provided enough separation from existing competition.”

Following established locations in the Austin and Dallas metro areas, the 42,000-square foot, 11-screen Moviehouse & Eatery will be the sixth theater in Texas and first in the Houston area. The Woodlands presented a prime opportunity for opening, with its demographics fitting closely with its target audience, said Chance Robertson, Moviehouse & Eatery’s executive vice president.

“We’ve wanted to open in Houston for a while,” Robertson said. “We looked all over, but The Woodlands was a market we thought would be good fit.”

Moviehouse & Eatery opened its first location in northwest Austin in 2012 — each location is built upon and improved over the last ones, Robertson said, and The Woodlands location will feature the chain’s signature full-service kitchen, a full bar serving Houston-based craft beers and luxury recliners.

The cinema-restaurant mashup follows in the vein of other dine-in theaters that offer customers a luxury movie-going experience like Studio Movie Grill, Star Cinema Grill and the more upscale iPic Theater.

“We were looking for a way to bring that feeling of comfort and luxury to a much more affordable platform,” Robertson said.

So far, Reynolds said, there are no other tenants to announce at the nascent development, but he added that the announcement of an anchor tenant allows the company to begin marketing the entire space in earnest. For residents of nearby neighborhoods, the disruption of construction will be kept minimal, with an establish wooded area kept intact and a concrete fence planned to keep light pollution out.

Workers on the retail development began pre-construction clearing on Saturday and the complex is expected to be completed by November or December of 2019.

mrincon@chron.com

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