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The first phase of a multimillion dollar project is nearing completion in Centerville.

And that's good news for Centerville City Manager Steve Thacker, who these days often goes through town fielding questions from eager residents about when the city's new Megaplex Theatres at Legacy Crossing will open.

Company spokesman Jeff Whipple said the theater will open to the public in October in conjunction with special activities such as a "VIP Backstage Pass" event and the chance to win free movies and popcorn for a year.

The theater will serve as the anchor to the Parrish-Legacy Crossing project, slated to be built in six phases, and will someday include apartments, restaurants, retail space and an office complex.

Just off Interstate 15, the 90,000-square-foot theater will house 14 screens, 3,400 seats, a 2D/3D IMAX screen and D-Box motion seats. Ticket prices will start at $6.25, he said.

"It's big," Thacker said. "I think it's turning out to look quite nice, actually. We required a pretty high design standard for it."

And the project was funded in part by about $12.6 million in tax-exempt status bonds made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Thacker said.

"Recovery zone facility bonds provide tax exempt bonds that can be used to finance projects that traditionally have not been eligible," he said.

The groundbreaking was held in September 2010.

Thacker said developers started the second phase the week of Aug. 15, laying the foundation for what will be 158 apartment units.

He said Centerville business owners are hoping the theater will draw people to town and allow residents to stay close to home when they want to see a movie, which in turn will translate to increased numbers of people shopping at local restaurants and stores.

Traditionally, residents would leave town to go to movie theaters in Layton or Salt Lake City, Thacker said.

However, Centerville's opening will put the theater in direct competition with Cinemark's 14-screen multiplex that opened in July, just a few miles away in Farmington.

Whipple said planners carefully studied sites before committing, and that community interest and proximity to five other Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres in the state played a role in selecting Centerville as the newest location.