An initial step in a lengthy process to attempt to bring a movie theater to Southbury will be taken later this month.
A meeting to discuss the potential for a theater on a 23-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Southbury Post Office on Main Street South will be held on Tuesday, August 27.
The land was recently purchased by Southbury Village Square, LLC, who have announced their plan to construct an 8-10 screen cinema and mixed use facility on the site.
The owners, Charles and Robert LaFlamme, said they would like to have a multi-use theater, restaurant, and retail space on part of the parcel and leave the undeveloped land between Flood Bridge Road and the Pomperaug River preserved and protected by a conservation easement.
“We look forward to working with the town officials and local residents to bring the best possible project to the people of Southbury,” said Laflamme.
Southbury First Selectman Ed Edelson said he has received many comments about the proposed movie theater in Southbury – some for it, some against it, some concerned about its size – and feels the meeting will be a great way for residents to express their views and here about the preliminary proposal.
In September 2012 Patch asked Southbury residents what they would like to see in this spot. Dozens of readers gave their opinion, some saying they would welcome a movie theater, others saying they would oppose the idea.
The Main Street South site is already zoned for a movie theater but there is much more work that would have to be done in this process. Initially, the developer would have to draft a more specific proposal to be reviewed by the town’s various land use commissions. There are also several more studies that would have to be completed by the town, including a traffic analysis, according to Edelson.
The proposed theatre building would consist of multi-dimensional uses with spaces for movies, lectures and conferences, opera and other simulcasts, stage performances, musical presentations and hosting of community group affairs, according to Southbury Village Square.
The design team, led by Hugh Sullivan of Bennett Sullivan Associates Architects and Planners of Southbury, is currently crafting a site and architectural design that will include stone walls, a landscaped streetscape, and river valley views from the theater lobby. The theater will be similar in size to Staples at the Southbury Green, according to the company.
The meeting and preliminary presentation of the plan will be hosted by the Southbury Economic Development Commission on August 27 at 7 p.m. at Southbury Town Hall and Edelson encourages all town residents to attend.
“We live in an economy based on private enterprise,” he said. “The town sets the guidelines – planning and zoning – within which private development can happen. We want good corporate citizens that will work within these guidelines. However, as a town we have to set and apply reasonable and consistent rules within which development can happen.”
What do you think? Do you want a movie theater in Southbury? What are some of your concerns?