Merriam leaders approve Cinemark’s ‘Gamescape’ renovation plans

MERRIAM, Kan. — The Merriam City Council gave final approval for Cinemark to partially remodel its only Kansas City-area theater into an entertainment center.

On Monday night, city council members voted 7-0 to approve Cinemark’s request for a change of use for the theater at Johnson Drive and Interstate 35.

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Earlier this month, the Merriam Planning Commission also approved the final site plan.

Cinemark plans to pivot its business model in Merriam, removing nine theaters on the eastern side of the building. The west side of the building would remain a 10-screen multiplex cinema.

The company will replace the nine theaters with an amusement center featuring laser tag, an 18-lane bowling alley, an arcade, a ropes course and event space. The company also plans to restructure the lobby to include a bar and restaurant.

The remodeled complex would be called Gamescape by Cinemark.

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The Cinemark at the Merriam Town Center shopping district is the company’s last remaining location in the Kansas City metro.

The theater chain said it’s struggled since the pandemic and hopes these new renovations can help bring the Merriam theater back to life.

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