You can’t find that huge bag of popcorn on the site of Showplace Cinemas South anymore. After the complex closed in 2020 and sat vacant for a year, Carousel Property Management has turned it into two apartment buildings with a total of 64 units.
Showplace South opened in 1974 as a three-screen theater and grew to seven screens by the time it closed, often featuring non-current films at bargain prices. Part of its sale contract stipulated the property at 950 S. Hebron Ave. could not reopen as a movie theater.
Instead, CPM created Cinema Apartments, repurposing the old cinema under the direction of local developers Dilip Patel and Ayse Schablik. CPM manages around 500 residential and commercial properties around Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana, with the goal of revitalizing housing and business properties.
“People needed better housing on the East Side. We’re trying to expand this area and make it what it once was,” says Jason Patel, property manager at Cinema Apartments and Dilip’s son. “We’re trying to help the economy, not tear it down.”
The old cinema looks nothing like it did before, but Jason says they kept much of its original brick soundproof walls, plus a ramped floor on the first story that once led into a theater. After pandemic-related price surges and material shortages set construction back, units hit the market in April, including in a new building adjacent to the old cinema.
Cinema Apartments plays to that theme, with art in the old building paying tribute to Showplace South. The apartments are fitted with quartz countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and vinyl plank flooring. Each one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartment has a different layout since the original building was not a perfect square. The complex includes a dog park and coffee nook.
“We built something that felt like a need for this area,” Jason says.