Church opens second location in old theater
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Sep 18, 2013, 15:29
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Destination Church offered its first services at a new location, at the old Crossings Cinema just off of Oaklawn Boulevard in Hopewell, over the weekend.
PRINCE GEORGE — A new church near Hopewell that hosts services in a renovated movie theater opened up for the first time over the weekend.
Destination Church, with an original location at the Southpark Regal Theater in Colonial Heights, expanded with a second location at the old Crossings Cinema Theater off of Oaklawn Boulevard that offers an additional Saturday night and Sunday morning church service on top of the regularly scheduled services at the Southpark Mall church.
The new location retains the cinematic atmosphere where the services are delivered in two separate theater rooms, divided into one for adults and one for children. Between the two theaters combined, the church can seat approximately 300 occupants. Also, in keeping with the movie going environment, popcorn and refreshments are offered in the lobby which can be brought into the theaters during services.
Jim Pourteau, executive pastor for the church who oversaw the renovations to the theater, said they completely revamped the interior, a project that included a full upgrade to the bathrooms, new flooring, sound system adjustments and many other renovations.
Bryan Briggs, the lead pastor for Destination Church, said that the church group has steadily expanded since the opening of the Southpark location in 2011, and that the Hopewell spot is a great venue to offer these additional services.
“We love being in theaters. ... It’s an attractive place for people to come. ... We kind of hit a limit on what we can do over [at the Southpark location], so we were looking to expand and as we were looking, we found this. We love the Tri-City area. So we came across this location maybe a year and a half ago, looked into it and then finally decided to go for it and renovate it and get it ready,” Briggs said.
Eventually, Briggs hopes to simultaneously operate the building as a functioning church as well as a movie theater, scheduling show times around weekend church services. Briggs said they would offer current, mainstream movies that tend to have a more positive, encouraging message.
Many people showed up over an hour before the church’s first service at 5 p.m. on Saturday to help get it ready. People hung out in the lobby dressed in informal attire while music played over the speakers.
“We call ourselves a contemporary casual Christian church, so we’re focused on just that factor of being casual and friendly and just that anybody is welcome no matter who you are, what you look like, what background you have that you would feel welcome,” Briggs said.
Pourteau shares Briggs’ philosophy of being welcoming to all people.
“Our church is a church that really wants to help people see that it’s not where you’ve been, but it’s where you’re going that matters,” he said.
Pourteau added that although everyone is welcome, he admits some people probably won’t be agreeable to the style.
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Church services are held in one of two renovated theaters, divided into one for children and one for adults.
“Not everybody that comes to Destination is going to like our culture and what we do. And we’re OK with that. There’s great churches in this area that meet a certain culture, a certain disposition of a person. We’re just trying to be a part of the solution in the area,” Pourteau said.
Services are offered at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.