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Southbury Movie Theater: We Asked, You Answered

Do you want a movie theater in Southbury? That was the question and here are your answers.

This could be a pastime in Southbury, if a movie theater proposal gets the green light. Credit: we are dc, flickr creative commons
This could be a pastime in Southbury, if a movie theater proposal gets the green light. Credit: we are dc, flickr creative commons
When we asked Southbury residents if they wanted a movie theater in town, the responses started coming in through Facebook, the site itself and Twitter too.

We tallied up the responses and here's what you had to say, from the yays to the nays to what people would like more than a movie theater.

I love the idea!

Ten commenters are on board with the movie theater proposal.

"I am all for it. I think it would be a great addition to the town. The main show times would be weekend afternoons and evenings, which is typically not a busy time for traffic through town. Frankly, I would rather spend my money here than drive to Danbury for a dinner and movie." — Brian Archibald via Southbury Patch's Facebook page

I don't like the idea

Thirteen people commented and said they were not fans of flicks in town.

"No thank you, I didn't move here for the convenience of a movie theater.. I like the peaceful "country" feel and actually like driving out of town for entertainment or anything I can't get locally. I think we have everything we need already." — Christopher Medeiros via Facebook

How about a rec center?

We started seeing a repeating comment, that there's not enough things for younger residents to do around town.

"Yes, teens come and go but guess what, they come again too. If we had a proper place for the kids to hang out, there might be so many suicide issues, drug issues and more. And at the very least, the kids would have a safe haven." – Joan Kloth-Zanard

But would anyone go to a rec center? 

"I grew up in Norwalk. We had a Y, movie theatres, the beach, stores, parks and rec, strong school music programs, many church groups, and other activities. Guess what? Kids still said there was nothing to do...  I like the small town feel of Southbury. There is plenty to do with kids nearby if you avail yourself." – Angela Tosti Flynn

What about a smaller theater?

Fourteen people were in favor of a movie theater in Southbury, but on a smaller scale than eight to 10 screens.

"... A smaller theater would make more sense. Something akin to what Newtown has. Perhaps it could include a stage too." – Chris Thompson via Twitter

"I've lived in Southbury most of my life and have always wanted a movie theater here. However, an 8-10 screen theater is much too large for the location. And I don't think it can be supported by the population with Wtby [Waterbury] and Dnby [Danbury] having their own. I would much prefer seeing something smaller similar to Bethel." – Debbie Brackett Gracy via Facebook

The project people respond

On the Southbury Patch Facebook page, the Holiday Cinemas Southbury Project commented with: "One misconception about this project is the size of the Theater proposed. Under zoning, this site is permitted to have 2 theater spaces that could provide a total of over 1300 seats (650 seats or more each). What we will do is split that same total capacity into 8-10 smaller theaters - the result is the same size building and footprint as 2-screens.  So a comparison to such complexes like Waterbury (3190 seats) and Danbury (3700) is absolutely inaccurate. Having multiple theater spaces varying in sizes, will allow us to show a variety films, including mainstream and independent movies and to allow spaces to be used for lectures, opera simulcasts and local productions. The multiple screen set up would also have staggered show times, and peak business would mostly come in the evening when traffic is the least. There is a more complete description of the project on our page, feel free to check it out. Also we will do our best to answer any questions or comments you may have on the project. Thanks!"

Traffic concerns

Fifteen people talked about increased traffic in town, if a movie theater were built.

"I think this is a terrible idea. A movie theater this size will generate a steady stream of traffic from 1:00PM midnight daily. Ever pull out of the post office on a Saturday morning? Build this and expect that wait to triple, at every intersection in the area. The developers build their projects, but they don't expand the roads - we, the taxpayers will be stuck with that. This will change the entire complexion of this part of town." - smoskow282

Have you had a chance to weigh in yet? What do you think about the proposal?
carol renza August 16, 2013 at 05:36 PM
If a small theater with a stage for local productions, it might be appealing. There are many local groups - dance, drama, etc. who could perform ... I don't like the idea of so many screens. This is going to require considerable cost to taxpayers considering widening of Main St to accommodate traffic - safety issues-requiring extra police and of course with access immediately off the highway - attracting people with other intentions in mind than just seeing a movie.. Agree with Angela Flynn too - kids always complain about nothing to do. There are many activities here. The kids grow up, move on going to school, etc. and we old timers are left with the problems inherent in such a theater. It brings to mind the song of a few years back '...they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot...'
Tim O'Neil August 17, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Any theater considered should be small, like The Edmund Town Hall in Newtown. Also it's use should not be limited to movies, it should be open for plays and concerts, like The Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk. The Town needs to address the lack of cultural activities available for all residents. Ridgefields play house also comes to mind. Mega plex theatre is NOT what we need!
housefullofnuts August 17, 2013 at 08:25 AM
Although I would absolutely love to see something of this nature in Southbury, i completely agree with smoskow282 about the road situation! Theature is a great pastime for both the younger and oldermembers of our community!
Kevin August 17, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Main street will never support the traffic. They should be required to build an exit off 84 (exit 13A) that goes straight into the parking lot. Where is the additional tax revenue going? Is the town glong to lower the Mill Rate??? CT is on of the only states in the US that uses this shadow tax to give taxpayers the illusion that the property tax isn't that bad. I would support a monstrous movie complex it they lower the Mill Rate substantially.
Pgmr9 August 19, 2013 at 06:16 AM
thats it turn southbury into danbury, get rid of the rural appeal of the town
Ruth August 20, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Totally agree with Carol Renza. I grew up in a small town in MA that has now becoming somewhat of a booming metropolis....overgrown, overcrowded, traffic congestion, etc. We moved to Southbury because it was a small, country town 30 years ago and have not enjoyed or liked many of the changes. "Progress" does not have to mean build, add, etc. indiscrimantly. If I had wanted to live in a Danbury or Waterbury, that is where I would have chosen to purchase a home. Also, when I was a teenager we all complained about no place to go and nothing to do. Some 50 years later, after the town build a teen center, rec center and on and on, the kids are still complaining about "nothing to do". What happened to amusing oneself? This town does not need a movie theater or more vacant store fronts. We need to protect what is left of it. What is the big deal about driving 20 mins. to see a movie or the like? Why does everything have to be right in our backyard? When IBM came in (and by the way we were told "we are coming, live with it") we were told it would be such a wonderful thing for the town and how did that work out?
Pgmr9 August 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM
it's already a done deal, it is going to be built and there is nothing the people of southbury including myself can do about it
Tim O'Neil September 16, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Ruth, teen center? Rec center? What town do you live in? The resources the children have in this town are pitiful! What they do have are aging and many parks are not kept up to use safely. The indoor space available during winter months is so inadequate many sports simply play scheduled games with no practice time. Teen center? Rec center? Not Available! We've out grown our facilities years ago.
jj smythe September 16, 2013 at 10:36 AM
@Pgmr9 FYI It is not a done deal. I spoke with Selectman's secretary and the owners have to go thru several committees and be approved. It is only a proposal. There will be open meetings where the public can speak up and show their opposition. Don't assume someone else will voice your opinion. Southbury is good the way it is. No theatre of any size!
Ruth September 16, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Mr. O'Neil, had you read my comment correctly, you would have realized I was referencing a town that I grew up in, NOT SOUTHBURY. And these facilites were NEVER used!!!! If you don't like the resources, please feel free to move. If you build it, they won't necessarily come. If things are so out grown and so bad, go......
carol renza September 16, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I agree with Ruth...but will add, Mr. O'Neil, that it is not up to the Southbury taxpayer to provide constant activity and sources of amusement for the children of this town.
Kevin September 16, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Well said Carol & Ruth. I agree with you both, 100%. I would like to add that "progress" is not always a good thing. This is a nice town just the way it is. If people want to be surrounded by activities, the city is 87 miles south of here. They should consider moving there.
Ruth September 17, 2013 at 06:28 AM
Totally agree with Carol and Kevin. I like the town as it is and so feel the same as Kevin about so called "progress". I have reached the age where I am tired of people demanding more and more...smaller classes, more parks, rec centers, things for their children to do, everything convenient and in their back yard. People have become spoiled and entitled and "expect" to have everything. Southbury is losing the character of what a small town is, and that is why I moved here. And it most certainly is NOT up to the taxpayers to provide activities and amusement for the children.....could not agree more, Carol. When I complained about being bored as a kid, my folks didn't want to hear it. My mom would hand me the silver polish or furniture polish so I would not be "bored" any more. Believe me after a few of those episodes, I was able to find something to do. If you don't like what a small town has to offer, than don't move here or don't stay. Don't force the base that does stay for years and years to "pay" in oh so many ways for what you demand when you "pass" through. Enough!
Donna Giles October 28, 2013 at 09:52 AM
WOULD LOVE IT!!Aren't you sick of driving to Danbury,etc for movies! It'll be great!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will save gas and time and it won't be a lot of traffic if there's only 8!!!
Ruth October 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Like I said before, everyone wants everything in their own back yard so they won't be "inconvenienced". If you don't like it, MOVE where you can have a 5 minute "commute" to the movies. Small town here, remember?
Kevin October 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Exactly Ruth. Waterbury is not far from here. Everyone looking for convenience should move there. It's a wonderful place to live.
Ruth October 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM
It truly upsets and saddens me to see the way Southbury has changed in the 30 years I have lived here. My home town used to be a lovely, small town much like Southbury was. Due to "progress" it is no longer a small town and has changed to the point where it is unrecognizable. Some progress is for the good, but so much so called progress has destroyed my home town. Now I see the same thing happening here. I moved here FOR and BECAUSE of the small town atmosphere and expect that I will have to drive "someplace" for certain things. When I was a kid, there were no shopping centers.....had to take a 40 minute bus ride to the city of Worcester to go shopping!!!

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