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Greendale, WI: Marcus Theatres Plans New Movie Theater at Southridge Mall

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015 2:55 PM

Marcus Theatres is applying for a building permit for a new movie theater near the Southridge Mall in Greendale, Wisconsin. According to an article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the new theater would have eight screens and be located in the northeast corner of the mall property, which is currently a largely unused parking lot.

If built, this would be the first new theater built by Marcus Theatres in the Milwaukee area since the opening of the Marcus Majestic Cinema of Brookfield in Brookfield, which opened on May 4, 2007. The closest movie theaters to the Southridge Mall location are all owned by Marcus Theatres. The Marcus Southgate Cinema to the east and the Marcus Showtime Cinema to the west are closest, driving-wise, but a theater at Southridge would also draw audiences that would otherwise attend the Marcus Ridge Cinemas, Marcus South Shore Cinemas, and discount-priced Marcus Value Cinema - Oak Creek.

The very-popular Silver Cinemas - Budget South near Highway 100 and Layton Avenue closed in November, which introduces an interesting question of whether this theater or one of Marcus' other nearby locations will look to fill that void.

Southridge Mall did have a movie theater at one time. The UA Southridge Movies 1-2-3 opened December 22, 1972 and was located where the current food court is now. It closed in 1989.

Marcus won't discuss any details, but it seems as though the theater might be a standalone building, as opposed to being connected to the mall. This is probably a wise move, as enclosed malls across the country are shutting down and being replaced with "open-air" shopping centers. Being separate from the mall building would isolate the movie theater from any such issues at the mall, and it would be compatible should the property be redeveloped into an open-air center.

In the mid-1990s, Marcus Theatres was considered for the movie theater that ultimately became the AMC Mayfair Mall 18 in nearby Wauwatosa. Looking to boost business on its second floor, the mall rejected Marcus' desire for an exterior entrance. For more information about that process, read the Journal article, Marcus Shut Out at Mayfair.

The permit request for the proposed movie theater has been referred to the Plan Commission, which meets next on January 14, 2016.

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