POINCIANA – Like a lot of other people, Luis F. Carrasquillo would like to see more services and entertainment brought to Poinciana. But he’s not just hoping that happens sometime in the distant future – he’s actually working hard to do something about it.
“As of this time, I have been working on a project to bring to Poinciana a first class movie theater that will have the name H.F.C. Theater,” said Carrasquillo, the president of The Heroes Family Club Multiplex Theater, the organization he put together to help bring the cinema to the community.
If that happens, said Betty Dobbie, a member of the Poinciana Area Council and the Poinciana Rotary Club, it’s going to make a lot of local residents very happy.
“I thought it was exciting news,” she said. “He is planning to build the Heroes Family Multiplex Theater in Poinciana, and he hopes for it to be open in the summer of 2012. It sounds like a grand plan.”
As Dobbie noted, as with many other things, Poinciana residents have to drive elsewhere to see a movie – and the nearest locations include spots like downtown Celebration, Downtown Disney, and the Loop shopping mall off the Osceola Parkway. Any one of them represents at least a 30 minute drive each way.
“I think any theater in Poinciana would be fabulous,” Dobbie said. “I would think the closest to us now would be the Loop. I go there all the time.”
A fast growing community over the past decade, Poinciana’s 10 villages are divided across parts of Osceola and Polk counties. But while the community experienced a solid residential construction boom from 2004 to 2007, commercial development has been slow to follow, and the community of more than 80,000 people has never had its own movie theater. It’s certainly something, Dobbie noted, that residents would love to have close by.
Carrasquillo said he would certainly work hard to make that a reality. He’s expanded his plans for a theater by introducing an educational component to it as well that brings students on board — and, he hopes, a lot of local business leaders as well.
“I have created an educational program with the T.E.C.O Vocational School to introduce the concept design of this facility to our community,” he said of the vocational school in Kissimmee. “The students that are taking courses in the arts of architecture, CAD drafting and graphic design are, as of now, designing more than six models to be selected by the community on Oct. 22, 2011.”
On that day, Carrasquillo is inviting the entire community to come out to the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort at 9939 Universal Boulevard in Orlando to help decide which concept works the best.
“I am inviting everyone to come to our First Class Project and Graphic Design Exhibition 2011 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort to see all these concepts and vote for the best presentation,” he said.
In the meantime, Carrasquillo is trying to line up vendors to participate in this ambitious event.
“We are looking for exhibitors and vendors that would like to support this project,” he said, adding that he is reaching out to a wide variety of businesses, including construction firms, software CAD designers, architects, project management firms, sportswear companies, and custom T-shirt designers, among others.
Carrasquillo said he’s looking for any other “possible companies that would like to be exhibitors and vendors. We need all the support that we can get to make this project a reality.”
He also sees another component to all this: comic books, and the heroes they bring to us.
“We are also trying to get connections with Marvel and DC Comics to allow us to become the premiere movie theater dedicated to all superheroes, including our military officers, police officers, doctors, moms and dads, students, and all of those who have been a great inspiration for all of us,” he said.
If this kind of business backing comes through, he said, “My projection is to open this facility by next summer, 2012.”
Dobbie said that would be the biggest challenge, lining up the capital to support an ambitious project like this one.
“I’m not sure if he can find the investments he needs in this economy,” she said, adding that she hopes the entire community rallies behind Carrasquillo and shows support for his vision.
“I’m hoping this all works,” she said.
To learn more about the project, log on to www.hfctheater.com or www.galaxytheatre.com.
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