Milwaukee-based exhibitor Marcus Theatres is paying $126 million to acquire Movie Tavern, a theater chain known for fine dining and luxury seating.

After the deal, Marcus will remain the No. 4 theater circuit in the U.S. but will exceed 1,000 total screens for the first time, reaching 1,098 screens in 90 locations across 17 states. With 22 locations and 208 screens in nine states, Movie Tavern is based in New Orleans and is part of Southern Theatres, which is owned by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

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Marcus is paying $30 million in cash and 2.45 million shares of common stock in parent company Marcus Corp., which also operates hotels.

“The acquisition of Movie Tavern is another significant milestone in the growth trajectory of Marcus Theatres,” said Gregory S. Marcus, president and CEO of The Marcus Corp. “Selective, disciplined acquisitions such as this create a compelling opportunity to expand into new growth markets and leverage our proven success.”

The transaction is expected to be completed early in 2019.

The first Movie Tavern location opened in 2001 in Fort Worth, Texas, and it has gone on to become one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing in-theater dining chains. Southern has owned it since 2013.

“Now is an exciting time for our Movie Tavern colleagues and guests as they become part of the Marcus Theatres family,” said John P. Caparella, Southern’s CEO.