OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) – It feels like everybody wants to build movie theaters in Desoto County. The Board of Aldermen in Olive Branch, Mississippi has been considering proposals to build three theaters from two different ownership groups.
One of those is already off the board, and if a group of neighbors has their way a second theater will get the same treatment.
“The thing we don’t like about the cinema is one—the size and height of the building; and the business hours are later than we’d like,” said landscape architect Jim Schumpert.
The proposed site for the theater is on the south side of Goodman Road, near the intersection with Malone. It would sit between two churches, Cross Creek Christian and Longview.
“I think it’s a bad idea, really.” Schumpert told abc24.com.
Unlike the first theater project turned down weeks earlier, this proposal could pass because of prior zoning. But it’s supposed to be in a strip mall, and the Cinema Group wants changes.
Olive Branch Alderman Pat Hamilton said, “They want to change it from a strip mall center to just one building which would house the theater.”
Hamilton represents Ward 2 in Olive Branch. Some of those against the theater believe the project will go through.
“I think it’s already been approved.” said Art Shumway.
Hamilton countered, “No, it’s not a done deal.”
One concern is whether Olive Branch support two theaters; a Malco is under construction a mile down the road, in Southaven.
“If one of these buildings goes out of business then what is it going to turn into?” asked Shumway.
The Cinema Group will appear before the aldermen on March 19 to lay out plans.
“When it gets down to who is going to build a theater and at what location, that may be a wait-and-see game,” said Hamilton.
For the time being, everybody’s just hoping for the best possible buffer zones.
“I don’t see that as being the commercial use that would be best for that site,” Schumpert told abc24.com.
All concerned want to make sure that if the theater does pass, all safety and comfort precautions are taken.