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University Mall movie theater reopens under new ownership
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University Mall movie theater reopens under new ownership

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Good news to movie buffs and anyone looking to find entertainment outside of the home, VIP Cinemas has reopened the previously shuttered movie theater in University Mall Carbondale and is offering lower ticket prices for popular new releases.

VIP Cinemas, which is headquartered in Charleston, Illinois, officially reopened the renovated movie theater on Sept. 4 as VIP Carbondale 8. AMC formerly operated the theater, but shut it down in May of 2018.

VIP Cinemas operates more than a dozen movie theaters, mostly in the Midwest, and is a family-owned company. VIP's goal is to provide patrons with an affordable cinematic adventure.

At the Carbondale location, the company has installed luxury leather rockers in each auditorium, renovated the concession area and installed new projectors and sound systems. While three of the theaters are currently in operation and showing films, completion of the other five auditoriums is expected by the end of 2020.

Just like with any movie theater, VIP Carbondale 8 offers several movie times throughout the day. The morning shows before noon are $5.99 with free popcorn; matinee shows from noon to 6 p.m. are $7.49; and evening shows after 6 p.m. are $8.49. Advance ticket purchases are available, or passes can be purchased at the ticket window upon arrival. 

Along with discount ticket prices, the lower cost of movie snacks is another aspect of VIP Cinemas' business approach to offering a family-friendly experience. The cost of an entire family outing to the movies is something that may hinder many from enjoying the experience, but VIP Carbondale 8 operates on the idea that cinema should be more affordable, company representatives have said. 

“Our model is to offer value in concert with high quality through cleanliness, customer service and a guest-focused approach,” said Jake McSparin, VP of theater operations at VIP Cinemas.

Specials lined up at VIP Carbondale 8 include $5 ticket prices for any showtimes on Monday, and "2sDays on Tuesdays," which consist of two movie tickets, two small drinks and a small popcorn for $22.

Keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, VIP Cinemas strictly adheres to what McSparin calls "the three S-es": social distancing, sanitizing and safely following recommendations. 

For movies currently playing at VIP Carbondale 8, visit or


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