Town Puts Off Vote on Agreement with New Operator of Playhouse Movie Theater

Saying they need more information, members of New Canaan’s legislative body on Monday night put off a vote on an agreement with a prospective new operator of The Playhouse movie theater downtown. The Town Council took no action during a special meeting on a letter of intent that would still be subject to legal review and Board of Selectmen approval. Though the Council didn’t name the prospective new operator—it met out of the public eye, in an executive session, claiming a “real estate” exemption—one attendee of the meeting who remained during the closed-door session was the head of Montclair, N.J.-based Cinema Lab. According to the company’s website, it takes on projects for “community-based” theaters “that are significant to the towns they serve.”

“Incorporating both tent-pole studio films with uncommon alternate programming,” the Cinema Lab website says. “We believe in a technology-first experience where the guest is in control.

Moynihan: Vine Cottage Worth Three Times What Land Trust Bid

The town rejected a venerable nonprofit organization’s recent bid to purchase Vine Cottage because the building is worth more money than what was offered, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. The Board of Selectmen met out of the public eye—as public bodies are allowed to do, under state law, when dealing with certain specific aspects of real estate transactions—to “decide whether we should negotiate with the [New Canaan] Land Trust,” Moynihan said during the Town Council’s regular meeting Tuesday. “We have an indication that the value of that property is three times what was being offered by the Land Trust,” Moynihan said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “If we get to the point where we want to sort of give it away to a nonprofit, an important local nonprofit, we could. But right now, for one we really need it for the Health Department.

Town ‘Very Close’ To Reaching Agreement with Playhouse Operator

The town is on the verge of reaching an agreement with an operator for the Playhouse, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday night. A presentation regarding the iconic Elm Street building— closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and available to a new tenant since Bow Tie Cinemas terminated its lease nine months later—will be made next week to municipal officials, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “We are very close to having an agreement with the proposed operator,” Moynihan told members of the Town Council during a regular meeting held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “And we hope that the TC will look favorably on funding the renovation of the Playhouse so we can open it by year-end,” Moynihan said. His comments came during a general update to the legislative body.

Police Commission: ’There Would be a Lot of Dissent’ To Relocate NCPD Headquarters

The head of the appointed body that oversees the New Canaan Police Department said at the group’s most recent meeting that its members are eager to move forward with a building project at the current police station site. The Police Commission is aware of significant deficiencies in the current building as-is and “we’re not seeing any other location that makes sense to us, where it should be,” according to Chair Paul Foley said. “And I think there would be a lot of dissent in town to move it onto another location—into the woods or onto a field at Saxe—and the neighbors would like to see it stay where it is, as well,” Foley said during the Commission’s Feb. 16 meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. “And as we suggested in our memo to the town bodies, we would like to keep it in place and then get a deeper dive, a further study, as to either renovate the current building or to tear it down and build a new structure.