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.