A California company that wants to build a multiplex theater at the corner of South Broadway and High Street has applied for a land disturbance permit, which would allow the company to ready the site for construction.
Representatives of Krikorian Premier Theatres did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.
Construction equipment could be seen on the site Monday, although the permit for 307 S. Broadway has not yet been issued, city officials said Tuesday.
City building officials and Krikorian representatives still must meet before that permit can be issued, said Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Lexington.
Never miss a local story.
The planned theater complex was announced in March 2014. In 2015, Krikorian released plans for the new complex that showed a 12-screen movie theater, a sports bar, bowling alley and laser tag. It would also include a 100-foot-wide screen that would play movies in a format similar to IMAX. At the time, plans called for the multistory theater to be built in front of the current parking garage on the property.
It’s not clear if those plans have since changed.
Krikorian representatives said construction would start late in the summer of 2015 and the theater would be open by 2016, but construction has been pushed back repeatedly.
The proposed theater also spurred an attempt to save the former Peoples Bank building on the South Broadway site, but an effort to move the mid-20th-century building ultimately failed. The bank was torn down in September, making way for a potential second entrance into the parking garage on South Broadway.
The corner of High and Broadway has long been seen as an ideal location for a new theater complex because it’s within walking distance of the University of Kentucky and is across the street from Rupp Arena and the attached convention center. Most of the city’s theater screens are in the suburban Hamburg and Nicholasville Road areas.
Since Krikorian announced its intent to build the theater in 2014, the company has sold off many of its theater complexes in California. According to its website, it has one theater complex in Buena Park, Calif. In 2014, it had seven.
George Krikorian, the president of Krikorian Premiere Theatres, has tried to bring a theater to Lexington for nearly a decade.
Krikorian, an avid horse racing fan who has a Thoroughbred farm in Woodford County, had planned in 2013 to put a movie and entertainment complex on top of the Transit Center or behind the Kentucky Theater, but those plans never materialized.
A proposed project met a similar fate in 2009 when Krikorian announced ShowProp, a $70 million development on Angliana Avenue with a 12-screen movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants, retail stores, a grocery and 150 apartments. That project was scrapped because the adjoining railroad, which owned a piece of property that was a key to the development, agreed verbally to lease the land and never formalized the agreement, Krikorian has said.