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Minister Says Alternate Theater Site Is Too Close to Flock

October 15, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

A Baptist minister says he still objects to a proposal to build a multiscreen theater near his Glendale church, even though developers withdrew plans to build the movie house on church-owned property.

Glendale city officials were barraged with complaints after the theater was proposed last summer. Developers on Tuesday said they now want to build the theater next to the original site.

But the Rev. J. Whitcomb Brougher Jr., pastor of First Baptist Church of Glendale, said the new site is still too close. He said Tuesday that he objects to theaters in general, charging that they show "dirty films."

The 85-year-old minister said modern movies "are detrimental to the moral and spiritual development of mankind." Brougher earlier had said he walked out in disgust on the last movie he saw--"On Golden Pond"--because he was offended by the "foul, dirty, filthy language" used in the film.

During a study session of the Glendale Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday, developer William Holderness conceded that his original proposal to build on church property was met with overwhelming opposition from city officials and church members. "It was one big mistake," he said.

The church for years has been planning to build high-rise senior-citizen housing on the site, now a parking lot, at the southwest corner of Louise Street and Wilson Avenue.

A city traffic consultant Tuesday suggested the church property be used for a parking garage to relieve congestion in the area. But Mayor Ginger Bremberg quickly dismissed the idea, saying: "It's ridiculous to consider that corner property for anything. We're not going to touch it."

Holderness proposed an alternate site for a cinema on Louise Street, midway between Wilson Avenue and Broadway. He said a multiplex theater and new restaurants are crucial to revitalizing the city's first major downtown renovation project, a two-block area bounded by Brand Boulevard, Louise, Wilson and Broadway.

Holderness is proposing a 2,000-seat, six- or eight-screen theater with an entrance facing an arcade leading to Maryland Avenue and to another arcade passageway to Brand. He also is proposing that a six-level, 380-space parking garage be built next to the theater to serve renovated office buildings and retail stores in the area.

James Sheehan, president of Mann Theatres Corp. of California, said the cinema chain is negotiating to lease the multiplex theater. Sheehan said that, if the theater is built, the chain plans to sell its two old movie houses on Brand, the Alex and Glendale theaters. An earlier city study proposed that the Alex be preserved as a historical building and used as a cultural-arts center.

Another study session on the renovation project will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the city manager's conference room at Glendale City Hall. The Redevelopment Agency is expected to vote on the cinema proposal Nov. 24.

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