Most thought the building that housed the iconic Ventnor Movie Theater was toast. On the verge of condemnation and tear down. A really tough sell, even at the bargain basement price of $825,000.
Resurrecting it as a movie theater was nothing more than a far-fetched dream. Especially in the age of Netflix and YouTube.
It’s true. Brett DeNafo, part of the ownership team of the uber-successful Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor, could soon be the new owner of the former Ventnor Twin Theater. An extreme makeover and relaunch is the plan.
Listen to DownbeachBUZZ interview with Brett DeNafo:
DeNafo’s team wants to do the same thing in Ventnor, as they did in Stone Harbor back in 2016.
Gut the building. Install new technology: a digital sound system, state of the art screens, a restaurant, a burger bar, along with beer, wine and mixed drink service.
- ‘Ventnor Square Theater’ could be open by Spring 2019.
- 3 screens and a wide range of movies.
- Liquor consumption license to be part of this new development if everything comes together as planned.
- The building was a mess, but it’s fixable, says Brett.
- Adjacent building to be torn down, providing access to parking lot.
- Food and adult beverages are critical to success.
Make no mistake about it. The City of Ventnor played a very big role here. Hats off to Mayor Beth and Commissioners Landgraf & Kriebel. The trio knocked it out of the park with this one.
Ventnor leadership offered some unique sweeteners to entice buyers. A multi-year tax incentive/abatement and available liquor licences.
Owner Debra Frank knew the building was unfit for occupancy. The structure at the corner of Ventnor & Weymouth Ave., risked being demolished if not brought up to Ventnor City code. Remarkably, the stars were in alignment. The Ventnor Commissioners deployed a full court press. It worked.
Now, just days away from officially closing the Ventnor deal, going to settlement, and taking control of the property that once housed the iconic movie house.
DeNafo admits they kicked the tires of the old Ventnor Twin Theater more than a few times.
What made them pull the trigger and do the deal?
- Attractive price?
- Distressed seller?
- Tax abatement?
- Available liquor license?
- Charming Mayor of Ventnor…Beth Macagnano Holtzman?
Answer: All of the above.
Obviously, Netflix can’t kill the entire movie theatre business. Specifically boutique theatres…. like these.
Comfy seating, hi-tech sound, state of the art projection, a cold brew and a tasty burger. Can’t get that watching Netflix on my Ipad.
The ‘Ventnor Square Theater’ will attract folks from Brigantine, Ocean City, Somers Point, Linwood, EHT & AC. Not just the Downbeach area.
Welcome Back, Ventnor Movie Theater.