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Mall Renovation Rejuvenates Wilson Neighborhood

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WILSON, N.C. — Not long ago, the old Parkwood Mall was rundown. Now, it's getting a makeover, complete with a new name - the Wilson Mall.

A new 10-screen digital movie theater will be open for business on Friday, bringing over 85 new jobs to the area.

"We've had the small (twin theatres) and the small (triple theatres), and now we've come back in with a much bigger and better theater," said Dale Hurst with Carmike Cinemas.

Over the years, many stores pulled out of the mall and many expected it to shut down. In January 2005, Hull Storey Retail Group of Georgia bought the building and started the makeover.

"It was easy to see what was wrong with this mall, and it was hard to find anything that was good about it, but again what we saw was the community," said mall owner John Gibson.

Viola Stallings and her grandson, Joshua Anderson, have been shopping at the mall for a long time. They're excited about by the possibility of new stores and restaurants.

"Bring in more people so it won't be such a small town anymore," said Anderson.

"It's going to bring in a lot of revenue for the city of Wilson," said Stallings. "It's going to be very nice."

The new theatre is expecting big crowds for the launch of the Pixar movie "Cars" on Friday. Mall owners hope the theater will help drive big crowds to Wilson Mall.

Owners expect to complete renovations this fall, and then start bringing in new mall tenants.


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