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Save the Garden Cinema

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The Wall Street Neighborhood Association of Downtown Norwalk, CT has started the following petition on Change.com seeking relief from the Planners of the City of Norwalk, Norwalk Redevelopment, Mayor Harry Rilling, Citibank, and its preferred developer JHM Group, who collectively plan to demolish our beloved Garden Cinemas, to use it for required parking of the retooled Wall Street Place condominium project (aka POKO).

Petition

We have asserted that for the city to demolish this hallmark cultural destination would not only cause damage to the core of our historical neighborhood, it would have negative economic impact on the urban core community; It would inflict moral damage to a legion of loyal supporters who travel from cities far and wide neighborhood to attend Garden Cinemas, as well as to blindly overlook the needs and desires of its growing community of artists, film makers, and creative professionals.

We are asking the city to mandate JHM Group to include the Garden Cinema as part of its plans to complete Wall Street Place, whether in its current footprint, or in a new facility; to build the infrastructure of Norwalk’s growing Arts District, to allow the Garden Cinemas to remain open operated by a 501c3, allowing for 3rd party investment capital improvements of the theater.

We believe that allowing the theater to remain open and to be funded by grants and private donations will have a strong positive economic impact on the entire area of Downtown Norwalk.

Marc Alan, on behalf of the Wall Street Neighborhood Association

5 comments

Babar S July 22, 2019 at 10:09 am

Garden Cinema already looks like it shut down a few years ago. Maybe the current owner should’ve done some more upkeep over the years. I love the idea of places like The Garden but look at Avon in Stamford, at least it looks nice even though the interior is still old and uncomfortable. These things matter. As for moving it into a new place, if the demand is there it will happen anyway, we shouldn’t force these things.

Audrey Cozzarin July 22, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Thank you, Marc, for creating this petition. After attending Thursday evening’s public hearing before the Common Council, as well as other similar hearings in the past, I have the impression that the people and our desires are ignored in the ultimate decisions affecting the “development” of this city. Needing a petition is a sign that The People mean business. Marc is tapping into the desire of Norwalk residents to keep the Garden Cinema as part of our community. The vision of the Garden Cinema flourishing into a Film Center a la the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY, a nexus for an arts community that includes an educational piece… Ah, now THAT would be an awesome addition to the Wall Street area! Please sign the petition.

Norwalk Lost July 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm

As much as I agree, city government is intent on fundamentally transforming downtown into a low income/welfare magnet with the latest petition for 100% affordable housing for POKO. This will all but seal and fast track Norwalk fate towards a Bridgeport like city. With 100% certainty, we should expect further strains on city resources, school budgets and residential taxpayers continuing to be shafted with runaway mill rates. . . it is also obvious the mayor is taking his marching orders from the state Democrat party and not beholden to the best interests of city residents. Malfeasance comes to mind.

Paul A. July 22, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Geez this is a sale contract between the owner of an out of code, rather uncomfortable, handicap unfriendly and most importantly not-profitable venue and a private party. If someone needs a cinema to show art films, wall st cinema is right there

Rusty Guardrail July 22, 2019 at 9:50 pm

While the theater is important, its fate is a distraction from the core issue: misuse of tax revenue in support of a wrong-minded endeavor, facilitated by a transparently politicized Council.

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