Proposed movie theater complex clears hurdle Land-use approval given for added parcel at site


Lights, camera, stadium seating.

A state-of-the-art, 14-screen theater complex proposed for Snowden Square retail center in east Columbia has cleared another regulatory hurdle -- this time receiving land-use approval for an additional parcel behind the Hechinger outlet.

United Artists hopes to open the complex by Thanksgiving. Each theater will have have stadium seating -- seats in steep rows that allow moviegoers to sit 14 to 18 inches higher than those in front of them.

Apparently only one such theater exists in Maryland -- at Eastpoint Mall in Baltimore County -- although they are being built in such cities as Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta, according to industry officials.

United Artists originally proposed a 10-theater complex for Snowden Square, but decided to expand to 14 theaters and provide stadium seating.

The company bought more land and had to go before the Howard County Board of Appeals again.

The theater site is on land zoned for manufacturing, said Board of Appeals staffer Donna Thewes. United Artists needed a special exception, which was granted Feb. 13.

The complex will seat about 3,000 moviegoers, Thewes said.

United Artists must receive county approval of its site-development plan.

Pub Date: 2/24/97

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