Paragon Entertainment Holdings, LLC (“Paragon”) was formed in 2009 by key former Muvico Entertainment, LLC ("Muvico") executives who sought to own and operate movie theaters and related entertainment ventures in the United States and abroad. Michael F. Whalen, Jr. and Mike Wilson own Paragon, which includes eight movie theaters, as well as various restaurant concepts, including My Pi Custom Pizza and Craft Beer, The Lot Bar & Lounge, and Neo Kitchen + Bar.
The world of theater exhibition is changing rapidly. Given competitive pressures of narrowing DVD windows, leading to quick playtimes of movie runs (i.e. the need for fewer screens per theater), the advent of digital technology, sophisticated home entertainment, and other forms of competitive entertainment, theaters must offer an integrated entertainment experience that is not "just about the movie" but where the "movie is part of the overall entertainment experience.” Paragon seeks to create a true entertainment brand and destination for its guests by offering premium luxury leather seats with extended legroom, reserved seating, expansive food menus and concepts, a bar/lounge, and digital projection. Also, in keeping with technological advances and their ongoing pursuit of enhancing the guest experience, most Paragon Theaters have added electric recliners that can be fully extended with the simple push of a button.
Paragon’s strategy is two-fold: (1) Retrofitting existing theaters, as well as existing retail space that has become available as a result of high vacancy rates; (2) Identifying new build opportunities to create entertainment venues that include movies, dining, and other forms of entertainment, such as bowling. Paragon has significant strategic relationships with companies and investment funds in the media and entertainment industries to create value for its partners and clients and continued growth of the Paragon brand. These relationships include major investor and brand partners such as Start Media, iStar Financial, Starwood Group, Pepsi Co. and Sony Electronics.
The company has a proven track record of successfully retrofitting theaters. Starting in 2010, they acquired Paragon Grove in Coconut Grove, and in 2011 Paragon Deerfield in Deerfield Beach. Each location saw significant increases upwards of 60% after complete renovations that included high definition digital projection with 3D, luxury and reserved seating, expanded concessions, and a bar concept, The Lot Bar & Lounge. Both locations were sold in 2014 to Cinepolis USA, the fourth largest theater exhibitor in the world and largest in Latin America.
In March 2011, Paragon completed an acquisition of two theaters in Minnesota. The first, Paragon Odyssey, is a 15-screen theater including a Club Level VIP Lounge, Extreme Theater, expanded concession menu, and Sony 4K digital projection. An IMAX screen was added in 2014. The second, Paragon Chateau, is located in Rochester. Paragon renovated the theater lobby and auditoriums, added Sony 4K digital projection, opened The Backlot Bar and Lounge, and expanded the food offerings. In 2015, Paragon added electric recliners to both theaters.
In 2012, Paragon acquired a theater in Daytona Beach, FL at Ocean Walk Shoppes. Paragon Ocean Walk 10 was fully renovated to include Sony 4K Digital projection, leather VIP seats, a private screening room with recliner seats, and an extreme theater; extensive renovations were also completed throughout the lobby and auditoriums. The Ocean Walk location features Paragon’s My Pi Custom Pizza concept, where guests create their own personal pizzas ready in three minutes or less that they can enjoy in the restaurant or bring inside the theater to eat during their movie. Electric recliners were added to Paragon Ocean Walk in 2015.
Paragon Pavilion opened in Naples, FL in May of 2014 after a full renovation of the existing Pavilion Cinema Theater. Paragon Pavilion opened with new luxury electric recliners providing ample legroom, online reserved seating, full renovations throughout including the lobby and bathrooms, Digital Projection with RealD 3D (the best projection in the Naples area) and an expanded food menu featuring small plates, flat breads and salads from The Lot Bar & Lounge, located in the lobby. In 2015, a lease amendment for expansion from 6 to 10 screens was executed; work is set to complete in the first quarter of 2016.
In the beginning of 2015, Paragon acquired Paragon Ridge in Davie, FL. While construction is ongoing, all auditoriums have been renovated and retrofitted with electric recliners with footrests, new screens, and enhanced sound and digital projection. The common area decor and restrooms have been modernized and fully updated. Future renovations set to complete in the fall of 2015 include the introduction of an onsite My Pi Custom Pizza, as well as a full exterior renovation. Since Paragon took ownership, attendance at this location has already doubled year over year.
Paragon excels at new builds as well as retrofits, and boasts two beautiful new build locations in Virginia: Village 12 in Fredericksburg and City Center 12 in Newport News.
Village 12, Paragon’s first theater, opened in April 2010. It is a 70,000 sq. foot entertainment center consisting of a movie theater, upscale bowling facility, and a restaurant. The theater has 12 high-definition digital screens, three of which include Premier VIP seating for guests 21 and over, and The Chatterbox, a bar & lounge serving beer, cocktails, and food. The luxury bowling facility has 16 lanes of bowling with a signature gourmet restaurant.
In May of 2014, Paragon opened its second new build, City Center 12, in Newport News. The theater was built from the ground up and is located in City Center at Oyster Point. Theater amenities include electric reclining seats with footrests and tray tables, two extreme screen large format auditoriums, reserved seating, digital projection and sound as well as two onsite restaurants, My Pi Custom Pizza & Craft Beer and Neo Kitchen + Bar.
Paragon is gearing up for its flagship third new build at The Mall at Wellington Green in Wellington, FL, with an anticipated opening set for Winter 2016. That location will include 10 screens with approximately 1,100 seats and feature electric recliners with footrests. Guests will be able to enjoy a meal during their movie from Neo Kitchen + Bar, the second location for this refined gastropub.
Along with the expansion of Neo, Paragon is also focused on adding locations of their “super-fast casual” pizza concept My Pi. Since the 2013 opening of its flagship location in Daytona Beach, Florida, My Pi Custom Pizza & Craft Beer has experienced rapid growth with new locations in Newport News, Virginia, Hampton Virginia (the first stand alone location), and in Davie, Florida at Paragon Ridge. Additional locations are being evaluated.