On Tuesday, May 13, the City Council Chambers was filled to the brim with passionate citizens ready to voice their opinion on the matter of rezoning an area on S Staples near Yorktown from Residential to Commercial, in order to accommodate a proposed new entertainment facility there.
After more than two and a half hours of deliberation from City Council, and a fiery public hearing with dozens of vocal supporters and opponents, the Council finally voted and unanimously passed the first reading of the ordinance in question, with a few certain amendments.
The proposed facility is called Movies and More, which would offer large movie screens, and smaller and more intimate theaters, a dining experience complete with the serving of alcohol. Beyond the movie-going experience, the facility would also offer a bowling alley, laser tag and an arcade. Movies and More is being developed by Jeff Dinger, who has built a similar center in Portland.
While most agree that this entertainment center is a novel idea, a lot of the residents in the area aren't fond of its proposed location. On the corner of Staples at Yorktown, the Movies and More facility sits adjacent to a local church, and the Kings Crossing neighborhood. Most opponents agree that the biggest negatives for building the facility at this location would be increased traffic and the fact that the center would serve alcohol.
One supporter of the project, Corpus Christi Film Alliance co-founder Heidi Hovda, says that this is nonsense.
"You know, they serve alcohol at a Hooks game and it doesn't seem to be a problem. TxDOT has already said that Staples was built to more than cover any additional traffic that would come around that area," Hovda said. "The bottom line is I think people are scared of change."
Regardless, the City Council has passed the First Reading of the zoning ordinance, which will now head to a second reading. The Council members unanimously agreed that the center would be a great thing for the community, offering entertainment and "something to do" for our youth, but the subject of increased traffic in the area was still regarded as an issue warranting further investigation.
Could Corpus Christi have a dine-in movie theater, much like the Alamo Drafthouse but with further entertainment potential, in its future? Hovda hopes so, and says that it's more of a necessity than a hope.
"This is what most city's have. Even city's that are smaller than ours and less developed than ours, they have these types of amenities," Hovda said. "We don't just need one Movies and More, we need twenty more all over the city."