Harkins Theatres will reopen the former Tower cineplex in Marana tonight, after a big redo. It's screening "Iron Man 3."


Dan Harkins is calling on a superhero to help him open his latest movie theater.

Harkins will be on hand tonight to cut the ribbon and buy the first tickets for the 9 p.m. premiere of "Iron Man 3" at Harkins Theatres Arizona Pavilions 12, the Marana cineplex that until last month was home to Tucson's only independently owned movie theater.

Harkins took over the lease of the 12-screen theater, 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive, after the landlord evicted Tower Theatres March 28. Tower had limped along financially for much of its six years in business, including filing bankruptcy to narrowly avoid foreclosure in 2010.

Harkins renovated the theater, replacing all of Tower's seats with the company's signature stadium style, high-backed rocking love seats, installing wall-to-wall movie screens and upgrading the audio and projection systems to all-digital.

The snack bar was expanded and takes up more space in the lobby. The menu was broadened from the nachos, popcorn, candy and hot dogs served under the Tower banner to a 150-item menu that includes White Castle cheeseburgers (reheated on premises, but not freshly made), Freschetta pizzas, popcorn chicken and Coca-Cola soft drink products.

Harkins marketing director Anne Silsby would not say how much the company invested in the renovations.

Throughout opening weekend, Harkins Arizona Pavilions 12 will give away loyalty cups - good for $1.50 soft drink refills throughout the year - movie memorabilia, theater gift cards and grand prizes including a year of free movies.

Tower's owners - Kent Edwards and Dan and Linda Cutler - also own a pair of second-run Grand Cinemas in Tucson that were not affected by Tower's closing. Grand Cinemas will honor Tower Theatres gift cards through the end of the year, Edwards said Monday.

If you Go

• What: Harkins Theatres Arizona Pavilions 12 grand opening.

• When: 8 p.m. today.

• Where: Arizona Pavilions 12, 5755 W. Arizona Pavilions Drive off Interstate 10 and Cortaro Road.

• Promotions: First 100 ticket holders each day through Sunday will get a free Harkins loyalty cup, good for $1.50 soda refills through the end of the year. Ticket holders Friday through Sunday also will receive a Harkins scratch-and-win card with prizes ranging from free concession vouchers to movie collectibles and the grand prize of a free movies for a year.

• Et cetera: Harkins will honor the Tower Theatres loyalty cups through the end of the year. Bring in your 2013 cup to exchange it for a Harkins loyalty cup. Note: Refills are $1.50, not the $1 Tower charged.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.