The marquee for the New Park Cinema located at West Westfield Avenue is set to come down unless the property owners file a successful appeal, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Last month, On October 10th, the closed movie theater was cited with an Order To Vacate due to damage to its marquee and facade. According to the property owner, the marquee was accidentally struck by a vehicle in May/June. This caused it to shift 6 to 8 inches which deemed it a hazardous structure.
At that time, the property owner – listed as Jardino Development Corporation out of Westfield, New Jersey – had seven days to either demolish the marquee to make it safe over the public right-of-way or have an engineer devise a plan on how to rebuild it and make it secure. A contractor who was hired by the property owner reviewed the matter and notified the municipality that the damage was above his scope of work.
“I don’t want anyone getting hurt,” said Construction Department Director Frank Genova, explaining his reason for the violation and temporary fix to address pedestrian traffic. He explained that tape and barricades, as well as cement jersey barriers, were put into place to direct people not to walk under the marquee for public safety reasons. Additionally, Mr. Genova stressed the importance of reaching a resolution to the matter since there are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance issues regarding having pedestrians walk on the street in one section to avoid going under the marquee.
In reaching out to the property owner, a principal of Jardino Development Corp. stated that the delay in having the repair done to the marquee was due to the trucking company’s insurance carrier initially miscategorizing the damage as cosmetic, not structural. Since then and since the citation, the insurance carrier has relayed to Jardino Development that it would only financially support a rebuild of the marquee, not a demolition. The plan is to submit architectural and engineering plans to repair and renovate the marquee. The property owner stated, “We’re just waiting to get everything straightened out with the building department because we love the theater and want it to be part of the revitalization of Roselle Park.”