Mattydale movie house eyesore to be demolished

Salina Town Board orders demolition to be done by July

MATTYDALE (WSYR-TV) - Cinema North in Mattydale opened in 1965.

It was a movie hot spot for years, but then closed in 1990. Since then it has been boarded up, stripped for metal and tagged with graffiti. 

However, the old movie house's long intermission is over.

As of the May 8th Salina Town Board meeting, it’s been ordered to be demolished.

Clearing out the old movie house will make way for a potential new restaurant or a hotel, according to property management.

Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra says the safety in around the property, off Brewerton Road, is the number one concern.

“The property owners try their best to keep it secured and they just can’t people keep breaking into it,” Nicotra explained. “People could be potentially living in it, all those things they don’t want at that property because it’s a liability.”

The theater will be demolished in the next 60 days.

Nicotra says the idea of a restaurant or hotel is supported by the town. A hotel would have to follow specific ordinances with the plaza’s proximity to the airport.

Property management is all for removing the eyesore, but even they have memories of the old movie house.

“It’s been my hometown all my life. I used to go to this cinema to watch movies,” said Marke Lantry, a property manager for Berkley Properties LLC. “I think I used to lie to get in for the kid’s age.”

Berkley Properties LLC also owns the building that houses Zebb's Deluxe Grill & Bar and a few other shops, and also the Kmart building in the same plaza in Mattydale.

Lantry says Berkley has been investing in those properties for years – adding a new $80,000 roof to Zebb’s about two years ago. He says the façade of that building has also been upgraded.

LED lighting was also installed in the parking lot.

Lantry says it’s time to see something new take Cinema North’s place to bring in a business that will thrive and also create new jobs in the area.

“If it comes back that it’s an environmental hazard – we would be doing a controlled demo that’s where you would bring in an asbestos removal, get that all removed first,” Lantry said. “Then we would demolition the building, grade off the ground and obviously look for other options.”

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