Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mall Eyes Movie House

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mall Eyes Movie House

Article excerpt

Paramus Park mall wants to get into the movie business.

The mall is asking to be allowed to build a 12-screen, 2,234- seat movie theater as part of a previously approved addition to the shopping center.

Movie theaters increasingly are considered an essential ingredient for malls, as more Americans are making purchases online, and it is becoming harder to draw shoppers to malls. In Bergen County, theaters are also a way to bring customers to malls, and mall restaurants, because movie theaters and restaurants are allowed to be open on Sundays when the rest of the mall is closed.

The proposal is before the Paramus Board of Adjustment, and a public hearing on the project is scheduled for April 11.

Paramus Park has not yet named the theater chain that will operate the multiplex if it is approved, but a mall spokesman said the shopping center is in discussions with several theater operators interested in expanding in Bergen County.

"Everything is very preliminary right now," said Christopher Dudley, director of marketing for Paramus Park.

"We have a general idea of what we'd like to do, which is what we filed plans for, and we're trying to find out who's the best fit for what we're trying to do."

Dudley said the mall is responding to trends in the market. "One of the things we always are looking at is the entertainment component, and that is how this came about," he said.

Other projects

Another Paramus mall, Westfield Garden State Plaza, opened a 160,000-square-foot addition that included a 16-screen AMC complex in 2007. That project originally was delayed by concerns about added Sunday traffic.

The Plaza management eased those concerns by installing gates that keep traffic from exiting into residential streets around the mall on Sundays.

In 2008, Paramus Park received permission to add an 88,650- square-foot wing to the mall. …

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