The shuttered Harkins Theatres in Southlake Town Square is expected to be refurbished into a new venue known as EVO Entertainment.
Slated to open by December, EVO Entertainment's first location in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will be a hybrid of a cinema, bowling alley, restaurants and video arcade, according to details announced June 29.
The news comes more than six months after Harkins Theatres permanently closed to the public.
The new tenant’s application was unanimously approved during a joint meeting among the Southlake City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Sign Board on June 29.
Some of the auditoriums will be transformed into full dine-in theaters with recliners and modern Dolby screens. There will also be bowling lanes, bumper cars and laser tag as well as a full scratch kitchen. A bar will also be added inside the venue, which is located at 1450 Plaza Place in Southlake.
Exterior modifications are planned for the 68,733-square-foot building, with the front steps and outdoor entrance area reconfigured to add an outdoor patio, outdoor screen and fire pits, according to a June 24 city staff report.
“Our architects have done a great job by taking this old, outdated building, bringing it to a modern look,” said Chris Cline, chief development officer for Austin-based EVO Entertainment, who described the new center as “a destination zone.” EVO Entertainment CEO Mitch Roberts said the new center could hire as few as 150 employees or up to 300 employees. He also said the venue will offer both family-friendly options and non-family-friendly options.
“The beauty of the content is that [EVO Entertainment] appeals to a much broader range of people,” Roberts said.
Officials with Harkins Theatres announced online in fall 2020 that it would be permanently closing its sole Texas location after 15 years Nov. 1, citing economic difficulties with the Southlake Town Square landlord.
Former Harkins Theatres in Southlake to be replaced by EVO Entertainment 'destination zone'
Harkins Theatres management was unable to renegotiate the theater's lease at Southlake Town Square and closed Nov. 1. (Courtesy Harkins Theatre)