Alas, we’re finally getting word of developer and Medjool owner Gus Murad’s plans for the historic New Mission Theater, via the Historic Preservation Commission’s agenda for this week. The main item up for discussion at tomorrow’s meeting — besides the fight to get some sort of landmark designation for endangered Gold Dust Lounge — is a proposal to convert the single-screen cinema to a five-screen one, with Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema as the operator. With locations already in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, and D.C., Alamo has been voted the number-one movie theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, largely due to their beer and food service, and their policy against playing advertisements before shows.
The proposal calls for the first-floor projection room to become a bar, with the main auditorium space getting restored as a large screening room. Additionally, there would be four more auditoriums built into what was the lower and upper balconies of the theater. Also, obviously, they would restore the iconic, Art Deco, 70-foot neon sign on Mission Street.
An earlier rumor floated that Brooklyn Bowl was looking to take the space and turn it into a hipster bowling alley, but that apparently fell through. Murad is still intent on building a 95-unit condo development on the site of the next-door Giant Value, and revenue from that project would probably going to help fund the massive restoration and seismic upgrade of the theater.
Murad isn’t talking to the press about this one yet, and he’s had trouble getting projects approved with the city in the past — you may recall that he didn’t exactly get a proper permit for Medjool’s rooftop bar, and that was the source of two years of drama. Also, Medjool remains on the market, as far as we understand.