Sundance Cinemas 608 -- the much-touted, six-screen movie theater at Hilldale Shopping Center -- will open May 11 after a three-day grand opening celebration to benefit Madison arts, social and environmental groups.
The announcement Monday of an official opening date ends questions since last fall about when Sundance, with supernova star Robert Redford among the company's leaders, would begin operating 608, the first of its many planned arts theaters nationwide.
Sundance Cinemas 608 will feature reserved seating and independent and foreign language films. It's unclear how Sundance will differentiate from Westgate Cinema, near Whitney Way and Odana Road. Westgate is a four-screen art theater operated by Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres.
Sundance officials and Marcus spokesman Carlo Petrick could not be reached for comment on Monday.
In addition to the theater, Sundance Cinemas 608 also will offer Caffe 608, a coffee and sandwich shop open from 6 a.m. to late night; Bar Bistro 608, including a full bar; an art gallery; and the seasonal Rooftop Bar.
Film screenings on May 6-8 will benefit the Chazen Art Museum, River Alliance of Wisconsin and OutReach, which supports Madison's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.
General manager of Sundance Cinemas 608 is Merijoy Endrizzi-Ray, former manager of the Orpheum Theatre.