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Tentative approval given to movies


Rouse Co. executives have won tentative approval for the 10-screen, 2,350-seat movie theater that United Artists plans to build behind Snowden Square shopping center near Columbia's Village of Owen Brown.

The Howard County Board of Appeals voted unanimously Thursday to approve a zoning exception for the 36,770-square-foot complex, and members are expected to sign the decision in several weeks.

United Artists plans to build the county's largest cinema complex on 8.9 acres in Gateway Commerce Center on the north side of Robert Fulton Drive off Commerce Center Drive, in the middle of the massive General Electric Appliance Park East complex that closed in 1990.

United Artists, the world's largest movie theater chain, plans to buy the land for its project from the Rouse Co. and to open the $5.5 million- to $6 million facility next summer. It would increase the number of commercial movie screens in the county from 12 to 22.

The proposal has encountered no public opposition. The last cinema complex built in Howard County, the Columbia Palace 9 Cinemas off Route 108 at Centre Park Drive, was the subject of community opposition in 1985.

Man robs convenience store

A man who pretended he had a gun robbed a convenience store in Columbia's Kings Contrivance village and fled Saturday night, Howard County police said.

No one was injured during the robbery, police said.

The robber entered the High's in the 8600 block of Guilford Road with his hand tucked inside his sweat shirt, approached a clerk and demanded cash, police said.

When the clerk gave him the money, the robber ran from the store, police said.

The robber was described as a black male 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, weighing 170 pounds and wearing a black sweat suit and baseball hat, police said.

Police log

Long Reach: 8900 block of Tamar Drive: A blue 1986 Pontiac Trans Am with Maryland tags CNT-238 was stolen Saturday, police said.

Owen Brown: 6300 block of Windharp Way: A white 1986 Nissan Sentra with Maryland tags NNW-813 was stolen Thursday or Friday, police said.

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