Some are heralding the project as a major feat for the town's growth and economic development, while others say it will move the town further from its small town roots and have a negative impact on quality of life.
The project, brought forth by Southbury Village Square LLC, hinges upon an application to amend the town's zoning regulations, which currently only permit two movie screens, with one designated as a potential live performance venue.
The application is the subject of a public hearing in Southbury on Jan. 8. It is proposed for the 23-acre property at 690 Main St. South, which is adjacent to the Southbury Post Office and easily accessible off Interstate 84, via exit 14 or 15 depending upon which direction one is coming from.
A traffic study commissioned by the applicant—presented to the town's zoning commission during a meeting in December—found that the proposed development "will not significantly affect traffic on Main Street South."
"The owners, Charles and Robert LaFlamme along with Kevin LaFlamme, represent three generations of family members with successful experience in the cinema business in Connecticut," Southbury Village Square LLC wrote on its Facebook page, Holiday Cinemas Southbury Project, in August 2012 shortly after purchasing the property. "Their aim is to provide local movie fans from seniors to our youth with an opportunity to be entertained in a safe, fun environment."
In that Facebook post, the developer goes on to note that "the recently approved Southbury Plan of Conservation and Development that sets goals for future town development, states that based on a town-wide survey, townspeople 'generally feel that there is an appropriate balance of various types of businesses,' but that there is 'a strong indication that residents would like to see additional entertainment or cultural facilities in Southbury' with 'overwhelmingly' over 75% of the respondents stating that 'there are too few entertainment and cultural facilities in Southbury.' This proposal directly responds to that need."
Right now, the nearest movie theaters in the area are:
- Country Cinema, Watertown
- Entertainment Cinemas, Seymour
- Regal Brass Mill Stadium 12, Waterbury
- Edmund Town Hall, Newtown
- Bethel Cinema, Bethel
- Bank Street Theater, New Milford
- AMC Loews, Danbury
- Bow Ties Cinemas, Trumbull
YOUR TAKE? Would you like to see the development approved?