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Movie theater to anchor Seaport complex

At a cost of $600 million, One Seaport Square will be among the largest mixed-use projects ever developed in Boston.Elkus Manfredi Architects

Boston’s first new cinema in more than a decade will open at a $600 million development in the Innovation District, where builders formally started construction on Friday.

The ShowPlace Icon Theater at Seaport Square will feature 10 small-scale auditoriums as well as a restaurant and lounge with sweeping views of the Boston skyline.

It will be one of three new businesses anchoring 250,000 square feet of retail space at One Seaport Square, a towering complex across from the Joseph Moakley US Courthouse that will include 832 apartments.

Also opening in the development will be Kings Bowl, a food and entertainment complex, and an Equinox fitness center.


When completed in the summer of 2017, the complex is expected to become home to about 30 retailers, including restaurants, clothing boutiques, and other specialty stores.

The first three retail leases at One Seaport Square were announced Friday during a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Governor-elect Charlie Baker. The project is being developed by Boston Global Investors, Berkshire Group, and WS Development.

“We have scoured the country — and we continue to do so — to bring the finest operators to the finest location in the city,” said Dick Marks, a partner at WS Development, which is leading the search for retailers at the development.

The theater at Seaport Square will be the third ShowPlace Icon Theater to open in the country. Others are located in Chicago and St. Louis Park, Minn.

The theater in Boston will include 860 seats and a reservation system to eliminate long ticket lines at the entrance. It will be the first new cinema complex to open in the city since the massive AMC Loews Boston Common began operating in 2001.

Kings Bowl, the project’s other major entertainment anchor, will contain private bowling rooms, billiards, and other games, as well as food, beer, and cocktails.


Also on Friday, the developers unveiled plans for the project’s two residential towers. A 22-story building, to be named The Benjamin, will include 354 apartments with two courtyards and a heated pool with views of the city.

The other building, Via, will contain 458 apartments on 20 floors. It will include outdoor lounges and gardens, and both buildings will offer garage parking and car-charging stations.

Casey Ross can be reached at