Grocery and movie theater reopen after Hurricane Irma, which hit in September 2017

Winn-Dixie reopened its store in Marathon, and unveiled renovations at its other Keys locations, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
Winn-Dixie reopened its store in Marathon, and unveiled renovations at its other Keys locations, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Winn-Dixie

Eighteen months after Hurricane Irma roared across the Florida Keys, two national chains have reopened their storefronts.

Winn-Dixie, which has been shuttered since the wake of Irma, which made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, doing its worst damage in Marathon and parts of the Lower Keys, held a grand reopening of all its stores on Wednesday. Key West was spared the agony of the Category 4 storm.

But Keyswide, 4 percent of the population, or about 3,000 people, left after Irma, according to a report by the University of Florida.


The company remodeled its stores in Key West, 2778 N. Roosevelt Blvd., Tavernier, 92100 Overseas Hwy., and Big Pine Key, 251 Key Deer Blvd., and held promotions as it reopened its Marathon location at 5585 Overseas Highway.

“Our valued customers and caring associates have been through a long journey of rebuilding together, and we are thrilled to debut our brand new Marathon Winn-Dixie,” said Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers in a press release.

In Key West, the Regal Cinemas movie theater reopened on Wednesday, promoting the upcoming arrival of the “Dumbo” movie and the Thursday showings of “Captain Marvel” and “Us.”

“We are thrilled to unveil the theatre’s sleek, new look and invite guests to celebrate Regal Key West’s grand opening,” said Richard Grover, vice president of communications for Regal in a statement. “Key West has a vibrant entertainment scene, and we are excited to continue investing in such a great community.”

The reopening of the Regal features a complete remodeling, including an expanded concession menu.

Key West has only one other movie theater, the Tropic Cinema, which is a nonprofit.

Winn-Dixie is offering a host of promotions this week, including “community celebrations” at each store on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Each store will donate $1,000 to Key Largo Middle School, Coral Shores High School, Marathon Middle High School, Sugarloaf School, Key West High School and Friends of Bahia Honda State Park during the store’s community celebrations on Saturday.
The first 300 customers to arrive at each community event on Saturday, at the start of the events, will receive a free gift card of between $5 and $250. Also, the Marathon Winn-Dixie will host a community “Giant Jenga Tournament” on Saturday at 11 a.m., for a chance to receive a $2,500 donation to a local charity of their choice. All events are free and open to the community.