Enzian Theater in Maitland wants to add a second screening room without building an addition to the popular cinema. The request is scaled down from previous effort that would have expanded the building’s footprint and seating capacity.
Plans for the independent theater, founded in 1985, will go before the Maitland City Council on Feb. 10th requesting a minor modification to its current Planned Development zoning.
Board Chairman Allan Keen told GrowthSpotter the request allows the theater to undergo interior renovations that would include expanding and upgrading the restrooms and kitchen, improving and increasing the handicapped parking, adding a weather canopy and creating an intimate 50-seat second screen from space within the existing theater auditorium, with no increase of the overall seat count of 250.
According to plans submitted before an earlier Development Review Committee meeting, the theater was also looking to add an exterior staircase for staff-only access to offices, as well as a covered walkway.
At the meeting, a motion was made to deny the request on the basis that there was “insufficient evidence to determine that the proposed change would not potentially have an adverse impact on the surrounding residential properties,” city records say.
Maitland spokesman Robert Sargent said the applicant must now follow a standard review process that involves approvals from the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Council, in which the applicant will ask council members to allow staff approval.
In 2018, the theater came close to pushing forward a larger, more costly 15,000-square-foot expansion, originally announced in 2013. But, according to the Orlando Sentinel, those plans never materialized after a former neighboring property owner, who previously committed nearly 100 additional parking spaces, sold its property.
The previous expansion and renovations were billed to cost about $6.5 million, and included the addition of two screens.
In an email response, Keen said current plans would cost less, but the board is not certain exactly how much the project would cost just yet.
He said most donors that had initially contributed allowed for the funds to be retained for a future plan, and those who requested a return received their contribution back in full.
The Enzian at 1300 S. Orlando Ave. is known for hosting the Oscar-qualifying Florida Film Festival and for bringing thousands of independent films and art films to the community.
In the email response, Keen said “all of these modifications are solely intended to enhance and improve the experience of our existing patrons.”