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Remodel to take place at the Amigo

Starting August 17, Bemidji's Amigo Theater will be closed for major renovations that will turn the theater into a 10-plex auditorium with state-of-the-art upgrades.

The renovations are expected to take approximately three months with plans to reopen near Thanksgiving.

The renovations, which will be carried out by the Cinema Entertainment Corp. (CEC), have been in the planning process for nearly three years, according to theater manager Duane Black Jr.

"It was time for the theater to have a face lift and this was the right time for it," Black said.

The renovations and expansion will bump the nine screen theater up to 10 screens, including one theater with digital 3-D projection and REAL-D technology. Stadium seating and surround sound will be incorporated into all the theater rooms along with high-back rocker seats and cup holder armrests.

"When it's all said and done, we will have a birthday room for birthday parties, more lobby space, more concession space," Black said.

He also said an entire new line of concessions would be added, including pizza, hot dogs and burgers.

The additions will also allow movies that couldn't previously play at the Amigo to come and for other movies to stay longer.

When asked what movie-goers could do until the theater was running again, Black said he wasn't sure, but said that the theater has been a popular place to go.

"This was a very hard decision to make to set the theater down for this length of time," he said. "There's no way around it with these kinds of renovations."

One more change is included in the remodel - the name of the Amigo Theater will likely be changed to include the CEC company name.

"The construction of this 10-plex will provide our customers in the Bemidji area with a state-of-the-art presentation in auditorium design, luxury seating and digital sound," said president of CEC, Bob Ross in a press release. "We have been providing movie entertainment to the Bemidji area for the past 20 years and we look forward to bringing this market a new era in theatre presentation and experience."

The CEC currently owns and operates 120 theater screens in Minn., Iowa, Nebraska and Wis.