Showboat movie theater sold

Built in 1997, the Showboat movie theater at 2565 State Road 120 has been closed since September, but could be reopen by summer. (Photo by Scott Williams/Regional News)

Patrons of the former Showboat movie theater complex near Lake Geneva are about to discover what luxury movie-going is all about.

Michigan-based Emagine Entertainment Inc. has purchased the old theater property, with plans to transform it into an updated and upscale movie attraction.

New recliner seats, improved sound systems, and pizza delivered to your seat are among the features that Emagine intends to introduce when the multiplex theater reopens, possibly this summer.

"We have big plans," Emagine co-founder and chairman Paul Glantz said. "It will be a venue that I think the community will be proud of."

Emagine, which operates 17 luxury theater properties in the Midwest, will make its Wisconsin debut with the newly renamed Emagine Geneva Lakes theater complex.

The company paid $1.2 million for the 30,000-square-foot building and surrounding 30 acres, previously owned by Showboat of Lyons LLC, based near Milwaukee.

The deal finalized Dec. 29 came less than four months after Showboat closed its doors.

Located at 2565 State Road 120 in the town of Lyons, Showboat shut down abruptly Sept. 5, surprising movie goers who had been patronizing the six-screen attraction for the past 20 years.

Real estate broker John Dyke, who marketed the property for the previous owner, said it drew a lot of attention from potential buyers, partly because of its high-profile location.

Some suitors had discussed converting the site to other uses, Dyke said, but the seller was pleased to see Emagine come forward with plans to reopen it for movie goers.

Dyke said Emagine is known for operating upscale theaters that are "phenomenal."

"These guys are absolutely first class," he said. "I think the people of Lake Geneva are going to be wowed."