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TOPIC: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new

Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 28 Apr 2011 15:18 #35859

  • rufusjack
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Interesting to me as we operate a kid fun center and would love to operate the center and the theater under the same roof.

Dave, did you get your tax credits yet?

www.bnd.com/2011/04/27/1687044/bellevill...t-two-new-movie.html

Belleville to get two new movie theaters
BY LAURA GIRRESCH - News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE -- A local business will add five more movie screens to the city's existing five.
The owners of The EDGE -- short for Eats Drinks Games Etc. -- are planning a $1.6 million expansion for their site at 701 South Belt West, according to owner Mary Dahm-Schell.

The plans include two movie theaters -- one general admission, which will have three screens, and one "VIP," which will have two screens. The latter will be for patrons age 21 and older, simply because staff will serve cocktails and other alcoholic beverages; no adult films will be shown. The VIP theater also will feature leather reclining chairs and servers will bring food and drinks directly to individuals in theater seats.

Both theaters will show mainstream, "first-run" films, and because they'll be using digital projectors, they also plan to broadcast major sports games or concerts, and hold other events, such as Xbox video game tournaments.

They hope to have the theaters open by Christmas.

The city this month approved nearly $80,000 in economic incentives for the project -- $27,800 over five years in rebates of anticipated incremental property tax increases attributable to the improvements; and $51,090 in tax breaks for building materials for the project.

In return, the business has to invest in the project by the end of the year, retain 25 jobs, create 10 new jobs within the first year and two additional jobs within the second year, and commit to annual sales of at least $1,450,000 that would be subject to sales tax. Also, the current owners of The EDGE or their successors have to remain in operation at the site for at least 10 years.

They'll be closing their miniature golf operation when they expand. Dahm-Schell said the course did well its first year because it was new and customers were excited. But scorching Midwestern summers have proven to hamper that activity's success.

"We've quickly learned people would rather be inside," Dahm-Schell said. "We're kind of following our customers' lead on what they're telling us."

They'll also expand their parking, change the facade of the existing structure to look more like an entertainment venue, and do some indoor remodeling.

Dahm-Schell said the theaters have been a dream of hers and her husband's, ever since they moved to Belleville from Washington, D.C., in 1994. She and her husband, Keith Schell, wanted to open what she called a "cinema and draft house," something they had seen out East that had movie-goers seated at tables and being served food and drinks as they watched the big screen. On Sundays, the venues would show Redskins games. So, she and her husband decided to start with laser tag and build from there.

She said that in the past several years, the idea of the reclining seats with chair-side service has been picking up steam around the country, and to her knowledge theirs will be the only theater like it south of Chicago.

When asked whether The EDGE will be able to compete with the other theaters in town -- the Skyview Drive-In on North Belt West and The Lincoln Theater, just a mile and a half down Illinois 159 on East Main Street -- Dahm-Schell said that according to national standards, Belleville is actually underserved when it comes to movie screens. O'Fallon has 15 and Fairview Heights has 10, but Belleville only has five.

She noted that the two drive-in screens are only open for the warmer months of the year, and that a drive-in is just a different type of business. She thinks more movie options will be good for the residents and other businesses of the city. She also said that 43 percent of the laser tag arena's clients come from outside Illinois, so the owners expect to draw from outside the metro-east.

Steve Bloomer, owner of the Skyview Drive-In, said he's not worried about the competition The EDGE will bring. He thinks his business has a unique audience -- they come for the outdoor viewing experience and to get a good deal; children 12 and under are free, up to two children per adult attending.

"I wish them all the best," Bloomer said. "I don't think it will affect our audience. They already have the choice of going to the Lincoln, to St. Clair (in Fairview Heights) or O'Fallon, and they still choose to come to Skyview."

Dahm-Schell and Bloomer also said that The Great Recession hasn't hurt movie ticket sales, so now's as good a time as any to start up a theater. Dahm-Schell called a cinema an "affordable luxury."
Bloomer concurred.

"You may forgo your vacation, but you're still going to want to do something with the family, so you'll bring your family to the movies," he said.

Mayor Mark Eckert thinks the improvements will boost property values. He's excited about the development.
"It's a good fit for our community," he said.


Showing 1-10 of 16 comments


mydahlia
I wish them luck. With all the stories lately about huge fights etc, I hope they dont run into trouble, especially with the VIP portion. I dont know that I'd want to spend my money to build anything in Belleville. It seems to be going downhill fast.
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Today 06:54 AM 2 Likes Report Abuse

MyBlack2011GT500
Always the negative comments. How about wishing them good luck and thanking them for staying and believing in Belleville. Don't like it, leave! (and shut up on your way out)
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Today 02:04 AM 3 Likes Report Abuse

Chris Easter
They may as well throw up a police substation while they've got the construction crew out there..
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Today 01:00 AM 1 Like Report Abuse

dertyshirley
I hope the food and service is better than what's there now. My friends and I JOKE about going to the EDGE.
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Yesterday 08:38 PM 1 Like Report Abuse

harpo
well it looks to me like there may be some trouble a head for belleville
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Yesterday 07:18 PM 1 Like Report Abuse

L0calY0kel
Very cool news. I am kind of curious as to how the 'VIP' area will fare. Knowing this is Belleville and the type of crowd it might attract, lets hope all goes well in the end.
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Yesterday 07:08 PM 5 Likes Report Abuse

odessa
I still miss BAC's old widescreen - a REAL widescreen.
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Yesterday 06:46 PM 6 Likes Report Abuse

RMEVET
This may put the Lincoln out of business...As for as property values going up... A movie theatre does not command that type influence. That is politician rhetoric to justify the TIF.
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Yesterday 06:43 PM 5 Likes Report Abuse

peopleRcrazy
I don't believe it will, and I certainly hope it will not put the Lincoln Theater out of business. I love that theater. I do think you are right that it won't raise property values.
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Today 12:29 AM in reply to RMEVET 1 Like Report Abuse

awoman2
Lincoln has a very steady clientele. Don't think it will bother them. Whenever I am at the Lincoln, I see many families because it is the most affordable theater around.
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Yesterday 09:50 PM in reply to RMEVET 2 Likes Report Abuse
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Read more: www.bnd.com/2011/04/27/1687044/bellevill...e.html#ixzz1KppZXcwC
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 29 Apr 2011 13:39 #35871

  • rufusjack
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I have been thinking about this a bit. In full disclosure, I like Dave and find him a good person to talk to. I believe this is horse sh*t. I do not care how under served a community is but to build a new theater 1.5 miles away. And on top of that with tax favors.

Will this theater be able to get first run movies playing at Dave's Theater? I have been told many times over the past few years, make sure you are not within 5 miles of another theater if you build a new place.

More importantly should the studios be able to give whatever movies they want to any theater?

Plus $1.45 million in sales seems to be a pretty high target to hit if it only includes theater revenue.
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 04 May 2011 17:37 #35935

  • Mike
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distances all depend on the size of the town : 1 mile in nYC is equal to 50 miles in rural Kansas.

Tax credits from TIFS are tricky and great in the right place. We sure would not do this in our town/city and we have a big TIF and BID also.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 04 May 2011 19:49 #35937

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Mike,

This is no where near the density of NYC. According to my ipad mapping, it says 3 mins apart. There are also two bigger chain theaters 6.5-7 miles (13-15 mins) to the North in neighboring towns of much less population. So looks like 4 1st run theaters in a market of 120,000 (plus a drive-in).
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 13 May 2011 17:23 #36024

  • dsschoenborn
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Well there is a lot of thought here from us but......

They are building this in place of an 18 hole Min golf course. They started by talking to us about them doing 2 alternative content screens to compliment their bar/restaurant business. Not a bad idea I thought and I could never do that in my place.

Now they are thinking 5 screens ( I heard 4 the last time ) in this very small space. I cannot imagine that any of them will be able to seat very many even with stadium seating. So they won’t be able to produce any real numbers for the film companies against my 550 seat big screen with 7.1 sound. I know they have talked to the equipment companies but I do not think they have talked to film companies or a reputable booker.

With today’s distribution I certainly don’t think they will be able to play anything that I am playing. Me with only 3 screens leave a lot of other choices. I lean to the family business since that is where the money is. They could pick up the R movies which don’t do anything for me anyway. The chain theatres at that 5 miles away may put up a fight too since as we all now at least right now for the decent films they only allow so many prints to a market.

I don’t know if they have found the $ yet either. The Bank that lent to me asked me for market info and movie info after they announced this because I think they went to them too.
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 14 May 2011 02:33 #36033

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Dave,

I spoke to a common rep of ours and they have no idea how they will get first run product. Seems like poor planning to me. How big do you think that space is?
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 19 May 2011 17:01 #36104

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Its not a big space. 18 hole of minature golf. Remeber they already have the building so they only need auditoriums. All the common area would be in their current building. Still I can not see many seats even with stadium 2 auditoriums might be around 100?

They said something to me about doing bosting their B-Day parties. I wonder if they think they can just play any DVD for a party? Seams like they have had good advice in the exhibition side at all.
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Re: Belleville, IL: Tax credits used to build new 15 Jun 2012 11:54 #38625

Several friends and customers have commented about this forum and others they have read about our expansion.

We are excited about our project, and have been doing our research and due diligence for three years. We believe in our community and are confident that Belleville and the surrounding communities will be well served by not only EDGE 5 Theatres, but by the continuing service of the Lincoln Theatre and the Skyview Drive-In.

To set the record straight: we did receive sales tax abatement on building materials (similar to what most businesses receive in TIF districts), and a reduced property tax increase over five years on the new portion of our property. We did not receive any funds from the city or state, but are appreciative for the City of Belleville's support.

We have been in business in Belleville for 17+ years (first opened d.s. vespers Sports Pub & Eatery on January 20, 1995), and look forward to continuing many more years.
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