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Stratford Movie Theater to Close; LA Fitness on Deck

While the timeline for the transition is uncertain, the gym has all the approvals it needs from the town to take over the space.

Regal Stratford Stadium 14 on Barnum Avenue Cutoff is closing to make way for an LA Fitness gym, town officials confirmed Tuesday. Credit: Jason Bagley
Regal Stratford Stadium 14 on Barnum Avenue Cutoff is closing to make way for an LA Fitness gym, town officials confirmed Tuesday. Credit: Jason Bagley

Stratford’s only movie theater is closing to make way for an LA Fitness.

The timeline is uncertain but the gym has all the approvals it needs from the town, other than a building permit, to begin renovations at what now houses the Regal Stratford Stadium 14 on Barnum Avenue Cutoff.

It’s also unclear if the multiplex will relocate. A request for comment to Regal was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

Matthew Parker was at the cinema on his day off Tuesday to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” He was stunned to hear of the theater’s closing.

“I don’t think it should,” Parker said flatly. The Milford resident said he prefers the Stratford theater over his own city’s movie theater at the Westfield Connecticut Post Mall, adding that he’s here at least two times a month.

Dawn Boulton of Trumbull was also surprised and sad to hear about the fate of the theater.

Speaking outside the multiplex Tuesday, Boulton said her father-in-law, who lives in Stratford, takes her 3-year-old son to see a movie here about once a month.

LA Fitness is planning to bring a 25-yard lap pool, four racquetball courts and a basketball court to the 49,000-square-foot space. Designs also outline a cycling room, an aerobics room, a spa, a juice bar and a “kids klub” area.

Planning and zoning administrator Gary Lorentson said the gym received zoning approval for the lap pool on Nov. 19.

Additionally, the applicants were granted a height variance from the zoning board of appeals on Dec. 3 because the height of the “crown” above the entrance exceeded the limit by six feet, Lorentson said.

Lorentson said he's unsure of a timeline for the transition but added that the only requirement left for LA Fitness is to secure a building permit.

Regal leases the space at the 411 Barnum Avenue Cutoff complex known as Stratford Square, Lorentson said.

Eileen Dover December 14, 2013 at 07:07 AM
Do you gentleman realize how silly you look? This began as a discussion and debate about the pending existence of a movie theater. We are approaching the year 2014 where people should not be chastised or name-called, for expressing their views regardless of how distant they are from our own. These emails are being sent with a lot of anger and without any thought of consequence. Walk away from your computer, relax and most importantly "think" before sending an email in the heat-of-the-moment.
jeff wilkerson December 15, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Not a good business move. As said before there are already enough Gyms in Stratford. Yet LA Fitness does offer more with the Basketball Courts and Lap Pool. Just don't think Stratford will support it enough to be successful, unless they got a great deal with the lease and tax breaks. Would be good if Stratford could open up a smaller movie theater for people.
Common Sense Moderate December 15, 2013 at 02:29 PM
I like the idea of a smaller theater a la Garden Cinema in Norwalk. But again, towns don't open businesses - private groups/individuals open businesses. If someone wants to loan me half a million, I'll do it myself.
Patricia Clark Sperling December 16, 2013 at 06:25 AM
Sucks that Stratford keeps giving tax breaks to bring business. The St. Vincent's facility being built on Main got a 10-year tax abatement. The more this continues, the more tax paying residents carry the burden 100%.
David Durgy December 16, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Mike Reynolds December 10, 2013 at 08:27 pm Can you show me implyinhe campaign financial form that shows the contribution from Regal Cinemas? I know you're better than that to know that's not what I was implying. Let's get a silly with it and discuss how a campaign on bringing in new business felt a shopping center with a 99, pizza, chineae, and McDonalds eateries was the best place to bring in another gym. It is true that it's not the towns job to prop up a failing business but neither is it true to be a self exalted new business mayor to cripple an already oversaturated market by taking the tax dollars now for a business model that's not proven to be solid in the next town over.
Beetle Bailey December 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
I'm with Walt the Bigot. Any of you people ever go to that movie? Kiddie City. Cell phones ringing, texting, chatty kids. Who the hell needs that when you go and pay good money to enjoy a movie. Someone should teach these jerks how to act.
Tmc December 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM
I'm not sure why Walt was labeled a bigot; he mentioned no race, gender, or ethnicity. People are too sensitive nowadays I guess...
Common Sense Moderate December 18, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Whatever Tmc - it's clear what Walt was talking about and that's why he's labeled as he is. You want to post comments on a public board, you're going to be called out for what you are. Fine, we're too sensitive,but there is also a need for good citizens to confront people when they're wrong, instead of agreeing with them when they're wrong. Walt may have a point about the texting/rude behavior of some individuals at the movies he might attend - but he chose to put in in terms that make it clear what he's saying. It's ok, Walt knows what he is - and he wants others to know what he is. That's why he posts as he does.
Walt December 18, 2013 at 08:16 AM
Businesses will come and go, as we all know it's driven by who pays the most or what is perceived as the most profitable model. We can lament the loss of the towns only theater but the town itself has nothing to say or do about it unless there are codes or rules violated. Movie theaters are becoming a niche business with the advent of home theater systems. An IMAX screen with great sound, comfortable seating and policing of the uneducated lowlife yakkers will keep people going out to the movies.
Common Sense Moderate December 18, 2013 at 08:41 AM
Ok - I'd agree with most of what Walt writes here. But I would just ask, if Walt is so educated, than wouldn't he be attending more sophisticated films, where the audience is hardly "uneducated lowlife yakkers"? If you're going to see "Fast and Furious," than don't expect a genteel crowd. Right? Whatever. We'll survive.
Matt December 18, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I do not see the logic in the fact that we had a movie theatre several hundred yards away in the back of the shopping plaza that closed to make way for a fitness club which then went out of business and now said building lies shuttered and unused. Now we have a movie theatre that is closing to make way for yet another fitness club, right down thew street from a relatively new fitness club and less than a mile from a long time fitness club in town. I am not a business or economic development major, and I am trying not to be too cynical, but I don't think I am too far off on a prediction that this property will be seeking a another new tenant in less than 5-7 years.
Tmc December 18, 2013 at 09:02 PM
@Common Sense(?) Clear to whom? Where does he demonstrate bigotry in his post? He mentioned no color, creed, sexual orientation, etc; so again, why is he being labeled a bigot in his posts? If you're reading into his post inferring race or creed, etc, then perhaps he's not the the one who's a bigot?
Common Sense Moderate December 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM
[this is me being Archie Bunker] SPLTTTTTTTTTtttttttttttttttttt
Common Sense Moderate December 19, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Clear to ME, Tmc, that's who.
Walt December 19, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I'm so honored that you agreed with some of what I said, o self anointed God of the Boards. I'm merely expressing my opinion here, not looking for your approval or judgement as to my level of education.
Common Sense Moderate December 19, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Now you're gettin it. 'God of the Boards' - I like it. Might have to change my alias now.
Tmc December 19, 2013 at 12:47 PM
I think its pbbbbbthhhht; and sorry, but your clearness is murky at best. Is there a bidding war for God of the Boards or is it first come?
Tmc December 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Nice delete here CSM; practice what u preach much? (Yes - I am the bigot. I am biased against ill-informed, undereducated, tea bagger dopes who call themselves patriots---as well as partisan/ideological dopes of any kind. Walt corrected himself, actually. In his first post, he condemned an entire 'group' as uneducated lowlifes - that's bigotry, when you talk about 'groups' instead of individuals. In his second post, he didn't mention a group, but wrote of uneducated lowlife yakkers - as individuals, I assume, and I can't argue with it. Hope that answers your valid question. If not, GFY.) As you wish CSM *pulls up internet porn*
Eileen Dover December 19, 2013 at 01:09 PM
I think these back-and-forth message writers should settle this childish squabbling with a boxing match in the new LA Fitness gym.
Tmc December 19, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Yes, because it's much less childish to get into fisticuffs over forum board comments. *rolls eyes*
Walt December 19, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Eileen, I was trying to make peace many posts ago singing Kumbaya...
Eileen Dover December 19, 2013 at 02:03 PM
I know you were. You have the right to your own opinion without being labeled. Getting to the topic at hand… as Matt had mentioned earlier, another gym is just over-saturating the market in town. Granted, visiting the cinema may not be considered as glamorous as experiencing a museum, an opera, a play or concert (of any variety), but allowing (again) the closest thing to a cultural experience in town to leave, is just plain cruel.
Tmc December 19, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Yeah, Matt seems to be the one with common sense here, regardless of anyone else's claim to fame SN.
Kevin Schneck December 20, 2013 at 08:12 AM
Perhaps the money is in the construction contracts? They say " follow the money and you will find the motive" I would take a look at who is winning the demo and refit contracts and see who they are tied to, much like the other projects around town, but I am untrusting of everyone.
Kristen Fitzgerald February 20, 2014 at 05:18 PM
This is ridiculous.......too many gyms in Stfd already that people use Jan - March at the most until those resolutions die off....there WAS a gym in this shopping ctr that went out of business....just ugh. I like the convenience of a Stfd theater, esp for my daughter & I.. I guarantee that gym wont last more than a year or two. Stupid.
Beetle Bailey February 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM
A Tea Party hater? Tmc must be a liberal, progressive Democrat. The type of person that thinks our state and country are going in the right direction. Down the toilet. Obama/Malloy zombie.
Tmc February 23, 2014 at 05:42 PM
@Beetle: WTF do you get that idea?
Eileen Dover February 23, 2014 at 06:33 PM
Uh-oh! Here we go again! If you two can't debate nice, I swear I'll turn this car around.
tlkensington February 23, 2014 at 06:39 PM
TMC, if you aren't with the Tea Party or support similar ideas then you are a liberal progressive Democrat. It's black and white to people like Beetle.
Tmc February 23, 2014 at 08:45 PM
I have no idea who he is. I wouldn't even know about this if I didn't get an email on it. I'm not the slightest bit political; I think all politicians are walking birth defects. The patch should allow you to unsubscribe to individual threads. I mean, this was 2 months ago...really?

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