By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor
Clovis City Commissioners began paving the way Thursday for a 10-screen movie complex to be built in the city’s northern corridor behind Roden Smith Village on Llano Estacado Boulevard.
Commissioners approved introduction of an ordinance at their meeting that would revise off-street parking standards and amend the existing code to require one space for every four seats instead of three for theaters and assembly rooms.
The move is necessary for the proposed theater and adjacent shopping mall to provide required parking. With a parking agreement developers have reached with Roden Smith, the change will enable them to meet regulations.
Mayor Pro-Tem Randal Crowder said the commissioners have 30 to 45 days to act on the amendment.
Theater owners Sam and Julie Snell of Clovis said they expect to begin construction of the movie-plex by the end of February or early March. They said it could open by summer.
Sam Snell said they are in the cinema equipment business, and this will be their first theater.
Asked why they decided to build a move theater, he said, “It’s a nice business and this is our hometown.”
Julie Snell noted that they’ve done surveys to determine the business potential.
“They said it would do great,” Sam Snell said.
The complex will have more than 1,600 seats, which will be the latest highback rockers, Sam Snell said, wall-to-wall screens and a concession stand featuring self-service all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat popcorn.
In addition, the Snells plan to build a 30,000-square-foot strip mall alongside the theater.
The complex will be located behind Roden Smith with an entrance on Wallace Street. Sam Snell said Axtell Street will be extended east to North Prince Street for access to the theater as well.
The Snells declined to say the cost for the project or potential retail businesses in the mall.