Fort Payne residents seeking more entertainment

The closing of a local theater leaves limited options
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:22 PM CDT
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - One of Fort Payne’s most beloved entertainment locations has been closed for over three years and residents are now looking for more entertainment.

Fort Payne Cinemas closed for repairs in early 2020 with a promise of reopening but the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down renovations.

“They did put on their sign up there that they will reopen and I have spoken to the owner and he tells me that they will...he is [going to] rebuild. I don’t know what timeframe he is looking at as far as rebuilding,” Mayor Brian Baine said.

With the movie theater closed, Jennifer McCurdy with the Chamber of Commerce says residents do not have many options for entertainment.

“We have heard from multiple people within our community I mean it is a need. We’ve had a lot of people express interest in more entertainment in Fort Payne. There are lots of outdoor opportunities but there’s not a lot of indoor opportunities such as bowling allies and things like that,” McCurdy said.

Mayor Baine says that talks with architect firm, Goodwin Mills and Caywood, could bring promises of more entertainment.

“GMC is doing a comprehensive masterplan for the city. During that master plan, we did a survey of citizens and folks. One of the biggest things that came back was a bowling alley, a movie theater, indoor golf, laser tag, any kind of indoor entertainment for our youth to do,” Mayor Baine said.

Baine says that the survey results and a former manufacturing plant the city owns could bring future investors.

“We’ve purchased that property and I have spoken to two or three folks that are interested in coming and looking at that piece of property to develop that. And hopefully, we’ll get some kind of youth entertainment to that area,” Mayor Baine said.

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