Fayetteville folks who have for years been dreaming of a downtown independent movie theater that serves dinner and drinks, your dreams are about to come true.
Locals Brian Hill, Ross Cully and Greg Billingsley plan to to tear down the old Dickson Street Theater building, and construct a three-story facility complete with multiple screens, a cafe, a bar, and rooftop deck for outdoor movie nights at 227 W. Dickson Street.
“We’ve been working on this for two years now, and we’re excited to finally be ready to announce it,” Hill said. “We think it’s something that the people of Fayetteville have really been missing.”
Hill, who plans to handle programming for the theater, has a background working in film and commercial production locally. He said the partnership with Culley and Billingsly, who purchased the building a few years ago, is a perfect fit.
“They bought the building with the idea that they wanted to do something that really added to the community,” Hill said. “This is something that I’ve always had an interest in, and those two parallel paths met well.”
The theater will show primarily first-run independent films, documentaries, and classics, and the facility will occasionally show trilogies or movie marathons, as well as host live music and other events, Hill said.
“That is our initial plan,” he said. “But we’re also excited to get feedback from the community about what kinds of movies they want to see.”
Hill said each space is designed with food and drink in mind.
“It’s being built so that people can take meals, drinks, everything into the theaters,” he said. “We’re also excited about what we can do creatively with custom cocktails that go with the different movies.”
The building will be called The Lumiere, with the movie theater inside to be named August and Louie, after French pioneer inventors and early filmmakers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere.
Ironically, the Dickson Street Theater that opened in that same location in 2001 originated with a similar plan to show independent and classic films, but the business abandoned that idea and changed formats to a music venue and dance hall shortly after it opened.
The new theater is being designed by renowned local firm Marlon Blackwell Architects. Hill said a timeline for the construction of the project hasn’t yet been established.