What’s the one thing training pilots want that Enid doesn’t have?
That question was posed to Col. Corey Simmons, commander of the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance Air Force Base. The topic arose Oct. 10 during the Enid Regional Development Alliance's quarterly meeting at Oakwood Country Club.
“One over and over and over again. A movie theater. That’s probably the one I hear the most,” Simmons said.
We’ve been writing about Enid deserving a better movie theater-going experience for years — not just for student pilots, but for all of us. Sharon Jenkins and the Monday morning movie gals also wrote us a letter to the editor in 2016, saying a city of this size should be able to do better in this area. Most agree.
AMC Theatres recently did a major remodel in Stillwater, but nothing of the sort has happened at its AMC Classic Oakwood Mall 8. A year ago, the ERDA announced it didn’t believe AMC’s product in our community matched what we deserved, so officials began looking at other options with good reason.
After all, we shouldn’t have to drive an hour to go to a decent movie theater.
Enid’s cinematic hopes hinge on developer Kyle Williams and The District, the 20-acre development at the corner of Cleveland and Garriott.
The promise of a new theater is a primary reason he decided to strike a deal with the city of Enid and purchase the numerous properties that made up the former Lahoma Courts.
After the theater lot is prepared for construction, Williams' company, Anchored Capital 3 Investments, will give the 7.1 acre lot to the city. With the prepared property in hand, the city will have better means of incentivizing a theater chain to invest in Enid.
We know the city has been in talks with Apex Cinemas — already in Muskogee, McAlester and Roswell, N.M. — for several months to bring a theater here. We agree with Williams that Enid deserves a premium moviegoing experience. Let’s get a good deal done.