CHANDLER, AZ — Soon enough, Harkins Theatres may be known for more than its buttered popcorn, soda refills, and blockbuster movies.
That's because documents recently filed with the City of Chandler show that the Scottsdale-based movie theater chain has plans to open a multi-entertainment concept at Chandler Fashion Center mall.
ABC15 first reported back in November 2019 that Harkins planned to open an "entertainment concept" on the upper level of the mall in the former Sears building, however, specific details about the project weren't available.
At least until now.
According to a site plan and artist renderings filed with the City of Chandler's planning department in February, Harkins plans to open a 64,000-square-foot entertainment concept, called "Harkins Backlot."
Plans show that the venue will have a laser tag arena, bowling, duckpin bowling, a vintage arcade and redemption area, and sports simulators. It will also have a bar and restaurant, dining area, party rooms, and an outdoor patio with backyard-style games, such as "giant cup pong," according to the site plan and artist renderings.
It is not known if nor when construction could start nor when Harkins Backlot could potentially open, if at all. The project itself still has to go through the city's approval processes.
ABC15 did reach out to a spokesperson for Harkins Theatre inquiring about the project last week, but we did not receive a response. A spokesperson for Chandler Fashion Center was unable to comment and referred our request to Harkins.
Over the last few years, Harkins has renovated several of its theaters in Arizona, part of a $150 million project. Last year, Harkins announced that it would open a 12-screen movie theater in Laveen, near 59th Avenue and Baseline Road, in 2020. An opening date for that theater has not yet been announced.
The opening of Harkins Backlot would mark the latest attraction to open at the Chandler mall.
Crayola Experience opened in 2019 near the mall's food court and allows kids to make their own crayon, play with wax art, and color. The mall is also home to a Harkins movie theater, Escape The Room, an escape room attraction, and PLAYlive Nation, a gaming lounge.