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Marcus Theatres pilots new sports bar concept at Gurnee Mills cinema

marcus theatres
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 16:57:13-04

GURNEE MILLS, Illinois — Marcus Theatres is piloting a new sports entertainment concept near the Wisconsin border at its Marcus Gurnee Mills Cinema in Illinois.

According to our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal, the company converted one its auditoriums into a new sports bar called The Wall and opened it on Thursday.

"I would call it a sports bar reimagined in an amazing way," Marcus Corp. CEO Greg Marcus told the Milwaukee Business Journal. "We took an auditorium, and we took it out of service from a movie theater auditorium, and we converted it. There are a number of places around the country where you’re able to see sports on a very large screen. We thought let’s start with that."

The auditorium keeps the main theater screen and visitors can watch anywhere from one to four sports on the large screen. There are also eight more screens playing other sports entertainment along the aisles.

"You can pretty much see whatever sport you’d want to see on a 100-inch screen up to a 40-foot screen," Marcus said. "The physical auditorium laid out fine. We didn’t have to make any changes to that because it’s got great viewing angles, and we just supplemented it with lots of screens around it."

The DreamLounger recliners are kept in place and there are added tray tables for food that can be brought directly to visitors' seats. The lights will be turned up halfway.

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports that there is technology capable to transmit sound from one of the televisions directly onto a visitor's headphones, so they can listen to another game while watching whatever is on the main screen.

The Wall has free Wi-Fi for visitors, allowing access to sports betting apps, which is why Marcus Theatres selected the Gurnee location for its pilot. Illinois already had legalized sports betting.

The Wall is free to enter. The company will analyze customer satisfaction to see if The Wall can sell enough food and beverage for profitable since the location is not charging people to enter.

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