Biloxi’s first new movie theater since Katrina will open soon — and more is on the way

The new Premier movie theater at Edgewater Mall in Biloxi opens later this month and three new performing arts centers are on the way, bringing more family entertainment back to South Mississippi.

A private ribbon cutting at the Biloxi Premiere LUX Cinema is scheduled on Nov. 28. It is the first movie theater to open in Biloxi since Hurricane Katrina, and comes in time for families to see the Grinch, Robin Hood and other holiday movies and characters this Christmas.

The performing arts centers at three Coast schools have a ways to go before opening. They include:

A $15 million, high-tech center under construction in Pascagoula. Scheduled to open for Christmas, 2019, the 750-seat theater will have a full projection system for movies, along with a stage, three classrooms for use in the Pascagoula/Gautier school district and a catering kitchen for special events.

A 900-seat center at Biloxi High School. Construction is expected to begin in early 2019 and be completed in 13-16 months. The project is going out to bid and has an anticipated cost of $13 million, which will pay for the stage, green rooms, snack area and a parking lot that will be shared with the nearby athletic stadium. The center will host band and choir concerts, theater productions and other functions.

The largest of the three centers will be built at the Jeff Davis campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, across from the Hospitality and Resort Management Building at the Biloxi/Gulfport line. The new Immersive Media Performing Arts Center, with its 1,200 seats in the 54,000 square foot facility, is scheduled to be complete in May 2020. It is designed to stage classic music concerts, rock concerts, traveling off-Broadway shows and other school and community events.

“It will have positive results for students in a variety of programs including two brand-new programs, Live Entertainment Technology and Simulation and Game Design Technology, as they will learn in a state-of-the-art facility,” said Mary Graham, MGCCC president.

Building boom continues

Work is ongoing across the Coast as developers invest in new construction and business owners expand and improve. They include:

Elliott Homes new design studio at 1402 Pass Road, Gulfport opened in October.

Sam Ford, an agent with Coldwell Banker Commercial Alfonso Realty, sold a $2.95 million beachfront site for Majestic RV Park in Biloxi. He also represented the seller, Tom Davis, and they buyer, PGM of Texas, on a $1 million land deal for a 30,000 square foot building at 10588 Joe Boardman Drive in the Bayou Bernard Industrial Park in Gulfport. The building will be used as a catalytic converter distribution center and eight to 10 new jobs will be created, Ford said.

COMVEST Properties, based in Biloxi, has entered into a joint venture that will expand the resort-style Blake senior living brand nationwide under LifeCare Properties LLC. A Blake senior center is under construction off Popp’s Ferry Road in north Biloxi. Plans call for opening 10 more Blake-brand properties in markets on the East Coast, Midwest and Southwest markets over the next 5 years.

South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp., in partnership with Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, plans to build North Park Development in Gulfport. The redevelopment project will provide 80 housing units, ranging from 680-1,075 square feet, on 22 acres.

In downtown Biloxi, the pedestrian overpass at MGM Park should be ready to use early next year and work is about to begin on a second, $2.4 million overpass at the Small Craft Harbor. For this second overpass, which should be done next summer, most of the lane closures will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Crews continue to work on Howard Avenue, which will give Biloxi a two-way, brick-paved street through what was once a thriving downtown business district. Developers are restoring the Barq Building at the corner of Howard and Reynoir into “The Howard Avenue Entertainment District” with shops, apartments, office space and local breweries.

$13 million in new construction

The Treen Report of new construction shows $13 million in commercial building permits were issued across South Mississippi in October, with the largest to improve schools and for community projects. Highlights include:

$2.9 million for renovation and addition at Vancleave Upper Elementary, 13901 Mississippi 57, Vancleave

$2.3 million for pedestrian overpass U.S. 90 near Small Craft Harbor, Biloxi

$1.8 million for Point Cadet improvements, sidewalks, lighting, parking, walking trail, Biloxi

$1 million for Beach Villa Apartments with 30 apartments in 3 buildings, 126 Briarfield Ave., Biloxi

$900,000 for sewer lift station, W. Jackson Co. Utility District, 15275 Parker Road, Biloxi

$675,000 for concrete pad for air conditioning units at Mitchell Distributing, 12100 Intraplex Pkwy., Gulfport

$511,000 for renovation at 15128 Crossroads Parkway, Gulfport

$350,000 for renovation at Michael Memorial Baptist Church, 15053 John Clark Road, Gulfport

$300,000 for 3 unit retail, 12258 Shriners Blvd., Biloxi

$157,000 for addition of gym and restrooms at Woolmarket Baptist, 12816 Lorraine Road, Biloxi

$116,000 for renovation and grocery pick-up, Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1733 Pass Road, Gulfport

New businesses

Winn-Dixie liquor store is coming to Ocean Springs. This will be in the same shopping complex as the supermarket on U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs, on the east end between the Hallmark store and Honey Baked Ham.

The newly redesigned McDonald’s opened at 10536 D’Iberville Blvd. in D’Iberville. Customers can use the digital self-order kiosks to browse the menu and order the food they want, and table service also is now offered.

Work also is complete to completely remodel Burger King in Ocean Springs and is under way at Chick-fil-A in Gulfport.

William Carey University dedicated Sanderson Hall at Tradition Campus in Harrison County. It is the new home of the university’s School of Pharmacy.

Aspen Dental office opened at 3661 Sangani Blvd., D’Iberville, and offers evening and Saturday appointments.

Shaggy’s, which has restaurants in Biloxi, Gulfport and Pass Christian, continues to expand with the opening of its fifth location on Ross Barnett Reservoir in Brandon.

Ribbon cuttings

Capital Group, a consulting company at 1103 Hanley Road, Ocean Springs

Deskerado, a community workspace at 2113 Government St., Ocean Springs

Goodwill Super Store at 200 West Railroad St., Long Beach

Make It Shine Cleaning, 440 E. Pass Road, Gulfport

Trendsetters new location at 837B, U.S. 90, Bay St. Louis

Blush 67 Boutique at 11:00 a.m. on October 10th at 2803 Market Street, Suite A, Pascagoula.

4 Seasons Beer Cigar & Tobacco, 3170 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs, selling hand rolled cigars and craft beer

Gautier Commerce Center, 2012 Highway 90, Gautier

Specialized Tracheostomy Unit at Singing River Health and Rehabilitation, 3401 Main St., Moss Point

Gabo’s Boutique & Gifts, 5439 West Aloha, Diamondhead

Nov. 20 — New home of Dusti Bonge Art Foundation, 370 Meaut St., across from Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi

Nov. 29 — South Mississippi Smiles, 4105 Hospital Road, Pascagoula