Vancouver's general manager of planning and development services, Brian Jackson, supports a theatre company's bid to add nearly 3,500 square feet to the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.
On Tuesday (July 8), Vancouver city council will hold a public hearing on the application by Formwerks Architectural on behalf of Cineplex Entertainment.
Formwerks is seeking permission to increase the permitted floor-space ratio for theatre use from 0.66 to 1.00 at 2124-2130 Burrard Street and 1798 West 5th Avenue.
In late May, Cineplex Entertainment president and CEO Ellis Jacob told the Georgia Straight in an interview that his company was considering upgrading the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.
"I think we need to fix it up," Jacob said at the time. "I think it needs a little TLC."
The four-storey mixed-use building at the corner of Burrard Street and West 5th Avenue was completed in 1996.
Cineplex Entertainment hopes to expand the lobby to the northwest corner, which was formerly occupied by a retail store.
If the application is approved, the primary theatre entrance would move to West 5th Avenue.
In 2013, Toronto-based Cineplex Entertainment took over the Fifth Avenue Cinemas and the Park Theatre from a company headed by Vancouver entrepreneur Leonard Schein.
"We put a movie, Grand Budapest, at the Park and it did extremely well, and moved it over to the Fifth Avenue and funnily enough, it did even as well there," Jacob said in May. "That community is really not looking for the Spidermans of the world. They're looking more for the specialty movies."
According to a city staff report, there is no need for Cineplex Entertainment to play development cost levies because there is no additional floor area being added to the building.
There's also no requirement for a community amenity contribution because $251,932 was already provided in 1995 when the property was rezoned for its existing use.