Battle continues to save Beach Theatre
CAPE MAY, NJ — Preservationists have won a round to save the Beach Theatre. After a lengthy meeting, the Historic Preservation Commission voted against issuing an appropriateness certificate that would have allowed the theater’s auditorium to be demolished. The theater’s owner, Frank Theatres, is vowing to take the fight to demolish the theater to the Superior Court; a foundation that wants to buy and preserve the theater claims the asking price set by the Franks is is far above the property’s market value.
Frank said he was prepared to go beyond the zoning board to Superior Court if the zoning board does not overturn HPC’s decision. He said when he purchased the Beach Theatre in 1986, there were no restrictions.
Frank said to have restrictions imposed at a later date was tantamount to a taking of his property and a taking of his rights. He said a theater was not the highest and best use of that property.
“If the goal was to have a movie theater, they have lost that possibility in today’s forum with our company,” said Frank. He asked what would the Beach Theatre look like five to 10 years from now. “If the theater remains like it is and is closed, what did you do as a member of the board?” Frank asked. “You’re left an antiquated and old building.”
Read more in the Cape May County Herald.