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Council talks movie theater proposal

WORTHINGTON — Since the closure of Northland Cinema 5 in Worthington nearly three years ago, the public has made it known they want another theater in the community.

It’s something Worthington City Council members hear time and again, and after putting out a call for proposals in May, two options have been received for consideration.

A $3 million difference in options brought West Mall Theatres Inc. President Todd Frager,  joined by local businessman Kevin Donovan, before a special city council work session Wednesday afternoon.

Frager has wanted to bring a theater back to Worthington since he was forced to close Northland Cinema 5 in October 2015 due to the pending demolition of the Northland Mall.

His proposal seeks the city’s willingness to construct a building with five theaters, concessions area and restrooms. Frager will provide the guts — the movie screens, projectors, sound equipment and seating needed to operate a theater — and be responsible for all operational expenses except real estate taxes. The city’s investment would be $3 million.

Frager said his goal is to purchase the building from the city within two to five years of opening the theater. Property currently owned by Yellow Company LLC (Aaron Marthaler) — the former Northland Mall site — has been identified for the possible theater, in close proximity to the new Runnings store now under construction.

For more of this story, see Saturday's print edition and dglobe.com.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

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