Cinemex Dine-In Cinema Inks Lease for its U.S. Debut at Miami’s $1B Brickell Centre Project

Hong Kong-headquartered Swire Properties Inc. recently completed a lease agreement with Cinemex, a Mexico-based dine-in movie cinema chain.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

CinemaxHong Kong-headquartered Swire Properties Inc. is signing on to play a leading role in the U.S. expansion of a company based south of the border. Swire recently completed a lease agreement with Cinemex, a Mexico-based dine-in movie cinema chain, to make its entrée into the United States at Swire’s $1 billion, 5.4 million-square-foot Brickell City Centre mixed-use project in the Brickell district of downtown Miami.

A Swire Properties spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive that Swire was looking for new and fresh luxury dine-in options in the U.S., and no one in the U.S. really offered the high-end luxury option Cinemex did–an example being the inclusion of a renowned chef and mixologist to the concept.

Cinemex will set-up 622 luxury seats in 11 viewing rooms offering dining options curated by the chef of Mexico’s leading restaurant, Biko, in an approximately 37,700-square-foot space. Special features will include the theater’s façade, which will serve as an extension of sorts of one of the mixed-use development’s most notable features, its climate ribbon–a sustainability and climate management system that captures sea breezes and collects rain water for reuse–with the incorporation of a  telón, or theater curtain, via a large-scale LED screen featuring animated content.

Swire may have been on the hunt for eateries to join the roster at Brickell City Centre’s 565,000-square-foot shopping complex, but it was Cinemex, the sixth largest cinema chain in the world, that made the initial contact. The spokesperson explained that Cinemex officials had visited Asia as part of the chain’s expansion plan, and they became familiar with Swire’s large-scale, mixed-use model, namely Pacific Place in Hong Kong, and understood the synergy in approach. She added that Miami was a natural expansion market for them; they see it as a Latin American gateway city and one that would provide brand recognition.

The spreading of the dine-in movie concept, although not new, has been picking up in pace over the last couple of years. AMC has its Cinema Suites, Fork & Screen and Red Kitchen offerings, with two dine-in kitchen locations in Florida (the most such theaters the company has in one state is three in New Jersey). In April, news emerged that an Arizona-based group of entrepreneurs would open Roadhouse Cinema, a state-of-the-art dine-in cinema in Tucson. And in June, the rapidly expanding New Orleans-based chain Southern Theatres L.L.C. announced it would increase its portfolio of Movie Tavern in-theater dining destinations with the opening of a site in the suburban Philadelphia community of Flourtown.

Cinemex will make its debut at Brickell City Centre in 2016, sharing the spotlight with Saks Fifth Avenue, which committed to a 107,000-square-foot anchor space in August. As for the entire Brickell City Centre development, Swire expects the first phase to be ready for its close-up at the end of 2015 and will commence the second phase in 2016.