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Major changes happening at the Fort Henry Mall

Matthew Lane • Updated Jul 13, 2017 at 7:27 AM

KINGSPORT — It'll soon be showtime at the Fort Henry Mall.

The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce recently announced a ribbon cutting for the new theater going in at the Fort Henry Mall. The event is scheduled for July 20 at 5:30 p.m. The theater will open the following day.

Renovations on the theater space and the old Belk's Home Store began earlier this year, and since then crews have covered up all of the vacant spaces within the mall and recently removed the escalator from in front of the theater location. A new stairwell has gone in at the old Gold Mine location and beside it will be a new elevator.

On the second floor, both the new elevator and stairwell come up in the location previously home to the Sax & Liz bakery. New carpet has yet to be laid in the hallway from the entrance to the theater.

Theater renovations include a new ceiling, paint, flooring, lighting, restrooms and signage in addition to an expanded lobby and improved digital displays, projectors and sound systems.

Last year, Hull Property Group of Augusta, Ga., purchased the Fort Henry Mall for $5 million and announced plans to revitalize and renovate the 40-year-old property into more of a “fashion-type mall” catering to apparel tenants.

Renovations include new restrooms and ceilings, the installation of carpet throughout the common areas and improvements to interior lighting. Additional upgrades will include new decorative accents and the installation of colorful community murals and historical photographs over vacant spaces. Exterior work will include upgrading all entrances and new signage.

HPG obtained two remodel permits from the city of Kingsport for the property, one for $250,000 for the remodeling of the theater space and another $35,000 permit to remove the escalator, install a new set of steps and relocate the elevator.

Renovation work is also taking place in the old Belk's Home Store on the second floor. Here, Dunham's Sports will be located. Dunham's is the Midwest's largest sporting goods chain with 230 stores located in 21 states, offering a full line of sporting goods and athletic equipment.

Work to expand and remodel the space is underway with the retailer expected to open this fall.

The mall will remain open and operate normal business hours during the renovation. As part to the renovation effort, HPG re-branded the mall back to its original name of the Fort Henry Mall, a move to emphasize its connection to the community.

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