Silverspot Cinemas gets green light at The Corners
Marcus Corp., however, trying to put brakes on the project

By Dave Fidlin - Special to The Freeman

Oct. 4, 2017

TOWN OF BROOKFIELD — Plans for a 9-screen movie theater within The Corners development are moving forward amid strong opposition and a potential lawsuit from the state’s largest cinema operator.

In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Town Board issued conceptual and final approval for a 38-foot vertical addition onto The Corners’ easterly end. Florida-based Silverspot Cinemas, which has five theaters open or under construction, has been tapped to operate the theater.

Silverspot representatives were on hand at the Town Board meeting to share their visions for the site. On the other side of the isle, within the audience, sat representatives of Milwaukee-based Marcus Corp., which operates 69 theaters in eight states.

“The Corners is a good fit for us,” said Gonzalo Ulvi, a managing partner with Silverspot. “The demographics are good.”

Marcus, owner of the Majestic Cinema within the town, had a role in spearheading The Corners nearly a decade ago. Two years ago, it sold a large stake to Chicago- based Bradford Real Estate Group and IM Properties in England.

Currently, Marcus retains a 10-percent ownership stake in the development, and company officials have indicated they plan to fight Silverspot’s entry, citing a breach of an original developer’s agreement.

In a letter sent to town officials before Tuesday’s meeting, Greg Marcus, president and CEO, laid out reasons why the company is against the plans.

“Simply put, had we thought a theatre at The Corners was a good idea, we would have either included it in the original, agreed-to design or built one ourselves,” Marcus wrote in the letter.

Douglas Neis, chief financial officer and treasurer with Marcus, came before the Town Board on Tuesday and expounded on the company’s concerns, which include parking, traffic, structural matters and a perceived over-saturation of theaters in the area.

Marcus recently announced plans of opening a BistroPlex at Brookfield Square, about five miles from the Majestic. Silverspot would be a mile from the Majestic.