Discovery Communications plans mini-parks

By Published on .

In a major expansion of its brand identity, Discovery Communications, owner of Discovery Channel and Learning Channel, plans expanded retail/theatrical mini-theme park complexes in the top 20 to 25 U.S. markets.

The company will likely spend a total of $300 million to $400 million on the project, said John Hendricks, Discovery's founder and president-CEO.


A longtime dream of Mr. Hendricks has been an educational theme park. But such a park, done right, would probably cost at least $1 billion, he said, so he has modified the plan.

"We'll probably do it in conjuction with a partner, maybe a Sony or United Artists," he said.

Mr. Hendricks envisions the complexes featuring an Imax theater to screen big-format educational films, a fun zone with arcade-type videogames and hands-on exhibits similar to those found in a science museum, plus a restaurant.

The complexes also will include a retail store, similar to the ones Discovery has in malls.

Besides supporting Discovery Channel and Learning Channel, Mr. Hendricks said, the complexes will cross-promote new channels Discovery is planning.


These include Animal Planet--all animals, all the time--and channels about history; children's information and educational material; science; and home and living. The last channel would be based on programming now found on Discovery Channel during the day.

Copyright April 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

Most Popular
In this article: