JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An economic boost is coming to the Oakleaf Plantation community in Clay County a brand new 14 screen movie theater. Businesses in the area tell us The EPIC Theatres at Oakleaf is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
"Bringing a movie theater actually brings more business to the area- you get the traffic flow. Right now, everybody goes to St. Johns Town Center or Orange Park Mall," says John Dunlap. He owns a Tropical Smoothie, just blocks from the where the theater will be. Dunlap tells News4Jax that he knows for a fact it will improve his business. He says the theater can't open soon enough.
The Epic Theatres will be a 14-screen movie theater. It will be on 8936 Merchants Way on Argyle Forest Boulevard in the Oakleaf Station Shopping Center, which is anchored by H.H. Gregg. Dunlap says it will be easy for people who live here to stay in their own community and it will bring more people and business to the area. He says business has improved even since the announcement of the theater.
"We're seeing a 20 percent increase in business pretty much since January 1.So the anticipation of the theater has been tremendous. I don't know if you talked to residents yet, but it's really been wanted and needed that's for sure," said Dunlap.
Jason Davis goes to Oakleaf High School. As a teenager he likes a variety of activities and he says he's confident the theater will be a hit for all age groups.
"I got a little excited. It basically tells us were going to have something else around here. It's definitely an easier drive in rather than all the way out to Orange Park it makes a big difference and it will actually save me a lot of money," said Davis.
Businesses are hoping the movie theater will continue to bring more business to the area, specifically more sit-down restaurants -- eventually making it comparable to Town Center and other popular areas.