BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - A long-awaited movie theater and superstore complex is opening this week in Bethel, the first time the western Alaska town has had a theater since the 1980s.
The store opened Monday morning for a soft opening and the theater is set to open Friday. The July 4th holiday also is considered the grand opening day for the complex.
The theater will have two screens. One of the two theaters has about 50 seats, and the other one has at least twice that number of seats.
The first movie to show will be “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” followed by a movie that has not yet been identified, KYUK (http://is.gd/ldLhPx) reported.
The shopping center will offer a wide range of products, including groceries, clothing, fabrics and home accessories. There also is a large deli.
The $20 million project has been in the works since 2009. Construction began last year.
The Bethel Native Corp. owns the complex. Omni, which owns Swanson’s stores, is leasing the shopping area.
The shopping area is scheduled for an official grand opening for early August. A sale will be featured that day, and customers can also expect drawings for gift cards, hats, shirts and other prizes.
Bethel Native Corp. president and CEO Ana Hoffman said the corporation chose Yup’ik Eskimo names for the complex.
The two-story building is named Kipusvik, a Yup’ik word that means “a place to purchase.”
The theater is called the Suurvik Cinema. Suurvik is a Yup’ik word for showhall.
Bethel is a hub town of nearly 6,300 people located 400 miles west of Anchorage.
Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org