Dinner and a movie; Businesses could come to Rave Cinema

By Lisa Capobianco
Staff Writer
New businesses could be sprouting up near Southington’s Rave Cinema.
During a recent Planning and Zoning meeting, Chris Gagnon, a civil engineer of BL Companies in Meriden, proposed a preliminary plan to develop two grassy areas in front of the cinema into businesses.  The proposed subdivision requests for three lots, with the large lot consisting of the cinema itself, and two separate lots, both of which are more than one acre. The Commission voted unanimously in approval of the plan during a recent planning and zoning meeting.
“What we’re finding on many cinemas throughout the state and the country is that they were cited on pieces of property that were far larger than is required,” said Gagnon, adding that the Southington Cinema fit that description. “We’re relooking at allocating the land for these properties and this is one of a number of cinemas which will either be subdivided or which will have new retail parcels sited on the properties.”
When investigating how the cinema lot was created in the first place, Gagnon said the lot was the result of combining all three lots. By converting the mega lot back into three lots, Gagnon said there is potential for retail or restaurant development.
“The proposed uses are intended to be in harmony with the cinema use,” Gagnon, adding that there is not yet an exact plan yet. “A restaurant is conceivable.”
Planning and Zoning Chairman Mike DelSanto said he feels excited for the possibility of a restaurant or store being developed near the cinema. DelSanto said the location serves as a good match for a new restaurant or store, especially since Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike is a “heavily traveled road” located near Interstate 84.
“The options are endless,” DelSanto said during a telephone interview with the Observer. “Southington is open for business.”
Gagnon said access to the three lots could involve widening or restriping the driveway in order to provide safe turning movements without adding any additional curb cuts.

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