I drove by it in East Hartford during my college days, right off of I-84, a couple miles away from I-91 – “SHOWCASE CINEMAS.” Built in the early 70’s with 4 screens, the theater was expanded and renovated through the years to a 14 screen multiplex of Hollywood’s finest and, well, not so finest movies. At the time, it was huge – at a time when people could afford to go to the movies, and Netflix was just beginning it’s rental-DVD-by-mail thing, competing with Blockbuster Rentals and all the new Movie Multiplex theaters for the film-buff’s money.
Well, it has been dormant for almost ten years. But it may be resurrected to battle again, only this time for the public’s gambling bucks. Developers are proposing to convert the former Showcase Cinemas complex into a casino. Right now, the state is weighing whether to allow Connecticut’s two Native American tribes to open three additional casinos to help fight off the financial threat from Massachusetts, where a casino is under construction in Springfield.
According to Matt Austin of NBC CT, the casino would cost $140 million and include 1,000 gaming machines, along with several restaurants and bars, and would create about 240 jobs with a payroll of about $10 million.
Austin reports Tony Ravosa Jr., president of the Vince Group, which has put in a bid to develop the casino, saying “There’s an opportunity here in terms of speed to market, moving this project along very quickly. I think it’s important for Connecticut to get up and running fast. We certainly have the place, location to do that.”
Traffic? – not a problem. Silver Lane in East Hartford would love the traffic after long out-living it’s place for commerce years ago. As an economic boost, this might have the same positive effect as MGM Springfield is expected to have. Interesting they may be battling for the same patrons.
Discussions continue in CT between the tribes, the legislature and possible host towns for these “Satellite Casinos.”
That’s all for now.