Town panel OKs architectural details for new Corners theater
Development to be have nine screens, include bar and restaurant

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Freeman

August 10, 2017

 The Town of Brookfield’s Architectural Control Committee has conceptually approved plans for a nine-screen movie theater at The Corners.
Dave Fidlin/Special to The Freeman

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD - A municipal panel overseeing architecture-related issues received a sneak peek Wednesday of some of the granular details surrounding a proposed nine-screen movie theater within the new The Corners development.

After combing through the plans, the town's Architectural Control Committee gave conceptual approval to the plans presented.

The committee's blessing means the proposal returns to the Plan Commission for one more review before going before the ultimate decision-making body - the Town Board - for final, definitive approval.

Collins | Webb Architecture has been retained by The Corners executives to design the cinema, which was not part of the initial plans for the mixed-use site near Bluemound and Barker roads.

Sammey Collins and Roger Webb gave the committee an overview of the theater, which is being proposed as a 38-foot vertical addition on the southeastern portion of The Corners.

"We have what we feel is a great design," Webb said. "It's clean, and it's crisp. It compliments what's already there."

The theater, as envisioned, would be situated on three stories and would be directly north of a series of apartments.

Committee members looked over the architectural designs, and the panel overall was amenable to the proposed aesthetics and building materials.

But at the urging of Gary Lake, development services administrator, the panel in its motion required Collins and Webb to work with Lake and other municipal officials and consider a few modifications.

"I think there could be a slightly more sensitive proposal to the architectural rhythm," Lake said of the theater addition and how it interacts with other surrounding buildings.

The committee also raised several questions and concerns, including parking and noise potential.

In its current draft design, the theater is envisioned as having 827 seats between the nine screens. It would have a total capacity of 953 persons - a figure that takes into account a bar and restaurant that is part of the development and employees.

Lake said the town has revisited a previously administered traffic impact study since the theater was not part of the original visioning for The Corners.

"Given the change in use, or additional use, the Plan Commission (during its initial review in July) felt it was important that the traffic impact analysis be updated," Lake said.

Results from the refreshed study are pending and are expected shortly.

Several commissioners asked how the new theater would adequately shield sound from the adjoining apartments.

"It will be acoustically engineered so sound won't be able to go through," Webb said. "There will be little to no sound transmission."

Thus far, Corners officials have been mum on who will run the new theater. Throughout Wednesday's discussion, Collins and Webb continued to refer to the entity as "the theater operator."

Ironically, the Marcus Corporation, which once owned the land the Corners sits on, had operated a theater near the site of the proposed development.

The West Point Cinema and its sibling operation, Westown Cinema in Waukesha, closed a decade ago when the Majestic Cinema opened.