Case Study – Carmike Majestic 12 Theater, Chattanooga, TN

By Jens Bolleyer


The World’s first “green” movie theater opened last fall, and Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heaters are adding to its “greenness.” The Carmike Majestic 12 in Chattanooga is the first movie theater to be registered to receive LEED certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emission reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.


The completely “green” Majestic 12 Theater, located in the heart of Chattanooga’s urban landscape, is operated by Carmike Cinemas. The 12-plex theater features two 400+ seat auditoriums, a VIP auditorium with large reclining seats, gourmet popcorn, as well as digital & 3D projection capabilities. Carmike Cinemas, Inc. is a U.S. leader in digital cinema and 3D cinema deployments and one of the nation’s largest motion picture exhibitors. As of December 31, 2009, Carmike operated 244 theaters and 2,277 screens in 35 states. Carmike’s digital cinema footprint reaches 2,141 screens, of which 503 are also equipped with 3D capability.


Carmike Cinemas opened the Bijou 7 Movie Theater in 1996, the first movie theater to be built in downtown Chattanooga in decades. The location was ideal with over 20 restaurants, River Front Walk, and a visitor center all within walking distance as part of Chattanooga’s entertainment district. Over the last 10 years, this bustling area just kept growing, and so did the need for a larger cinema with more movie offerings to expand in line with the downtown resurgence. The Bijou welcomed approximately 165,000 moviegoers annually, but the new Majestic 12 is expected to welcome nearly 400,000 people per year. With that increase in patrons, it was time to go green.


Environmentally conscious theater construction is a growing trend according to the Washington, DC-based National Association of Theater Owners, which represents more than 29,000 movie screens across the country. In order to be profitable and successful, theaters are becoming more sustainable and going green by lowering  energy bills, conserving water, and enhancing indoor air quality

Some of the green features in the new Majestic 12 Cinema include:

  •  All glass front, open design with motion and daylight sensors which saves 75% on lighting costs
  • White roof for reflecting solar heat saves on cooling costs
  • Electric Tankless Water Heaters in restrooms
  • Rainwater usage in restrooms and landscaping
  • Local, recycled construction materials throughout the building
  • Indoor air quality enhanced with environmentally friendly adhesives, sealants, cleaning and maintenance products
  • Convenience to public transportation options
  • During the construction process over 90% of the waste was recycled and kept away from local landfills


Water is our most precious and unfortunately, our most wasted resource. Water is essential to life, and it is more important than ever to conserve it. The builders of the Majestic 12 knew they would need to place extra focus on how they could incorporate the latest technology to save water. They have installed a water-reclamation system that collects rain and condensation from the rooftop mechanical units to flush low-flow toilets. In addition, they have opted for Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heaters (ETWH) in the restrooms. How are the ETWH units helping the Majestic in their “green” efforts?

  • Hot water arrives instantly with point-of-use installation
  • There’s little wasted water down the drain
  • No stand-by heat loss and no large storage tank to heat 24/7
  • Movie patrons and employees never run out of hot water, enjoying continuous hot water flow
  • No need to heat water after hours when the cinema is closed


The Carmike Majestic 12 Cinema in Chattanooga uses 35% less energy than similar sized theaters, resulting in a savings of roughly $15,000 per year in electrical use. With constant environmental challenges and concerns facing our planet, the Majestic 12 in Chattanooga hopes that the steps they’ve taken to be environmentally aware will encourage other business owners and developers to build progressive new structures that are increasingly green.

Download PDF

White Paper

By continuing to use this website, you agree to our use of cookies. For more information, see our Privacy Statement.