TOWN OF BROOKFIELD — The parent
company of a local movie theater chain on Thursday made good on a
pledge to take legal action against a planned cinema at The Corners
The Milwaukee-based Marcus Corporation filed a lawsuit in Waukesha
County Circuit Court against the Town of Brookfield and Brookfield
Corners LLC, alleging the addition of a nine-screen movie theatre by
competitor Silverspot Cinemas breaches the terms of a developer’s
After months of reviews, the Brookfield Town Board in early October
gave final approval for conceptual plans related to a 38-foot
vertical addition on The Corners’ easterly end. This summer,
Florida-based Silverspot, which has five theaters open or under
construction elsewhere in the country, was named the cinema
Marcus, owner of the town-based Majestic Cinema a mile away from
Silverspot’s proposed site, had a role in spearheading The Corners
nearly a decade ago and continues to retain a 10-percent ownership
stake as a minority partner.
In a statement issued Thursday, Marcus officials said majority
owners IM Properties and Bradford Real Estate moved forward with the
cinema plans without having the company’s authorization.
Reiterating comments made at a Town Board meeting Oct. 3 — the date
municipal officials approved plans — Marcus also stated it does not
believe a cinema belongs at the new development, which opened in
“Had we thought a theatre at The Corners was a good idea, we would
have either included one in the original, agreed-to design or built
one ourselves,” Marcus President and CEO Gregory Marcus said in a
He added, “We are deeply invested in the success of The Corners as
an investor, construction guarantor and fellow taxpayer in the Town
In court documents, Marcus representatives also said the cinema
addition could adversely impact The Corners’ long-term viability.
“The proposed theatre is a significant project addition that will
dramatically extend the project’s completion date and increase its
debt to fund the associated construction costs,” the company wrote
in one passage amid the 18-page legal document.
The Corners’ majority stakeholders have continued to assert they
have the authority to proceed with plans for the cinema addition and
do not believe Marcus’ lawsuit has merit.
“We did our due diligence before we proceeded with the theater
plans,” Robert Gould, CEO of Brookfield Corners LLC, said in a
statement Thursday after the lawsuit was filed. “We are confident in
our position and right to proceed as we did.”
Attempts to reach town officials before deadline were not
successful. At last month’s Town Board meeting, however, Town
Attorney James Hammes said he was comfortable approving the
Hammes had directed the board to focus on the cinema project itself.
He said disputes over the developer’s agreement will have to be
sorted out among Marcus, Bradford Real Estate and IM Properties.
“This should be based on zoning, the use of the property and how it
fits into the development,” Hammes said a month ago.
“One way or another, you’ll see what happens.”