A plan to demolish the UA Lynbrook 6 movie theater on Merrick Road and build a much larger theater complex in its place was presented to the public at a village board meeting on Aug. 12. The proposed multiplex, which would have 15 screens and 3,161 seats, would be built where the current theater stands, expanding into the Regal Entertainment Group-owned parking lot just west of the existing structure.
Jerry Grewe, Regal’s vice president of real estate, said that one of his first assignments — in 1995 — was to get Lynbrook a new theater. After several roadblocks along the way, Grewe said, this proposal is one that can be successful. “We wouldn’t be proposing to make such a substantial financial investment in this community if we didn’t think this was going to be around for quite some time,” he said.
The Blumenfeld Development Group, based in Syosset — part of the team that was selected last week to redevelop the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — would develop the project. Vice President David Blumenfeld said that the theater would be completely redone, and the entrance and exit would be moved to the corner of Hempstead Avenue and Merrick Road.
Chris Robinson, of RMS Engineering, based in Huntington, explained that to make the area safer for theater patrons, there would be a drop-off zone on Hempstead Avenue, using the existing park between the street and the theater as a buffer.
Jeff Greenfield, vice president of government affairs for the Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Nassau County Planning Commission, said he was in favor of the proposed plan. “Right now it’s dangerous to drop off people on Merrick Road,” Greenfield said. “By moving the drop-off area to the park … that’s very positive for the safety of pedestrians and the public.”
The theater’s expansion would eliminate 51 parking spaces in the lot between Merrick Road and Blake Avenue. According to Village Administrator John Giordano, the village makes a payment equal to the annual taxes on the lot — around $13,000 — in exchange for its use.