2016-07-28 / Front Page

Movie Theater proposal goes to Babylon Village Planners

Historic photo of Babylon Movie Theater. Plans to reopen the site as an arts center have been presented to the Village.Historic photo of Babylon Movie Theater. Plans to reopen the site as an arts center have been presented to the Village.Main Street Theater Partners, the company in contract to purchase the Babylon Movie Theater, outlined its plans to the Babylon Village Planning Board last night.

The company, owned by Mark and Dylan Perlman, a father and son team, wants to buy the movie theater, renovate the building and use it as a theater and arts center, hosting Broadway-style productions, theater and art classes, movies and more.

It has been vacant for approximately two years and another hearing on the proposal will be held before the Babylon Village Board, Tues., Aug. 9, 7 p.m.

The Perlmans outlined their proposal to the Planning Board for the 13,500 square foot building. They will be removing the walls that sectioned off the building when the former owners made it into three separate theaters, maintaining seating for approximately 470 patrons. They want to hold classes there, as well as offer ticketed theatergoers light snacks and drinks. They plan on applying for a liquor license from the state.

Attorney Diana Centrella Prevete of Albanese & Albanese of Garden City represented the Perlmans at the hearing. “My clients are cognizant of the fact that there is a residential area south of the building,” she told the board as she outlined some of the plans for the site.

The Perlmans plan to hold art classes on weekends and weekday mornings. Matinee and evening shows are planned, as well as approximately 24 Friday and/or Saturday midnight shows throughout the year.

Events would require up to between 5 and 30 employees, depending on the event.

Village code requires one parking space for every 3 seats, bringing that to 157 spots. Adding employees brings the total required to between 177 and 207, according to Jim Slack, Planning Board Chairman.

Plans also call for some minor renovations to the exterior of the building, repairing the neon signs, adding new lights and improving but maintaining the 1920s style marquee.

The applicants presented an initial parking plan prepared by Phil Cimino, a traffic engineer. But that plan utilized 85 on-street parking spots in the business district.

“We would like to see another plan eliminating the use of any on-street parking,” said Slack, adding that the applicants would be required to go to the Board of Appeals for parking relief.

Mark Perlman said that he would do that and added that the parking requirements are based on “filling the house for every performance.

“I would love to say that we will be doing that for every performance, but that is being optimistic,” he said.

Planning Board members said they like the proposal in concept, saying it would be good for the Village, but that it had to be reviewed carefully.

“The big question is the parking,” said Slack, adding that the Village Board, in its review of the proposal, could offer the parking relief or refer the question to the Zoning Board.


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