The erection of the steel frame for an 83,022-square-foot, $21 million state-of-the-art Regal movie theater on Merrick Road near Atlantic Avenue, in Lynbrook has been completed, and the next phases of construction are underway — with the goal for completion this November.
“I’d like to be a little further along, because I want to open it and people want to see movies, but I think [the builders] are doing a good job,” said Mayor Bill Hendrick. “They’re trying to be safe in getting it up and they seem to know what they’re doing.”
The Regal Entertainment Group hired Blumenfeld Development Group, a Syosset-based company that specializes in real estate development, to build the theater. The modernized building will replace an older, historical movie house that closed last January. The village has also brought in LiRo Group engineers to oversee the project. “They check the building progress so that we know it’s safe,” Hendrick said.
He added that he was pleased with the work that had been done so far, and that the construction was right on schedule and should be completed by Thanksgiving. Once it’s done, Hendrick said, the village board is hopeful that the theater will open on Christmas.
With the steel frame in place, the next step is to finish the metal decking on the roofs and floors and to put metal support beams on each floor. Then, the façade and a brick base will be installed within the next three months.
Superintendent of Buildings Brian Stanton said that a building permit was issued for the theater last April 8. The demolition permit was issued in May, the building was bulldozed on Aug. 15, and construction began.
“The steel erection of the building has been completed,” Stanton said. “There’s always adding a small piece here and there, but it’s done, pretty much.”
Regal first took an interest in the property in 2011, and BDG considered several building designs over the years. The new theater will feature luxury reclining seats in all screening rooms, along with surround sound and bright 2D and 3D images.
It will wrap around the Cuzco Peru Restaurant, which was attached to the old theater, in a U shape. There will no longer be municipal parking on the west side of the theater, which will mean a loss of 51 parking spaces, but there will be 171 fewer seats in the new theater — a total of 1,434 — and parking regulations on Atlantic Avenue can be amended to accommodate peak movie hours, Hendrick said.
The theater will be slightly larger, modernized and more attractive to the public than the old movie house, he added. He said he hoped it would bring more foot traffic to the downtown area.
“It will service the community much better,” Hendrick said. “People are waiting for a good movie house. The old one, some of the seats were bad and didn’t work right. This is gonna be a modern movie house with state-of-the-art seating.”
Nick Ciccone contributed to this story.