The $22 million proposal to bring a luxury movie theater and bowling alley to Abacoa is dead.
Local developer Richard Rendina, CEO of Aries Land Acquisition, told The Palm Beach Post that the company parted ways in mid-July with Frank Entertainment Cos. One month later, Frank and two related companies filed for bankruptcy.
Rendina’s company owns the 2-acre site and planned to partner with Frank Entertainment for its 12-screen CineBowl & Grille. The site across from Roger Dean Stadium was home to a 16-screen Crown Theater, which closed in 2006.
Frank Entertainment, headquartered in Jupiter, was founded in Philadelphia in 1906 and has owned or managed more than 150 entertainment centers throughout the Eastern United States, including theaters, arcades and restaurants. Bruce Frank, who owns the companies, does not outright own CineBowl & Grille Delray Beach and Revolutions Bowling Bar & Grille at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, but has an interest in the businesses, according to Boca Raton-based attorney Bradley Shraiberg, who is representing Frank in the bankruptcy filing. Those bowling alleys remain open.
Frank was not immediately available for comment. Shraiberg said the bankruptcy filings were not related to the company’s failure to start construction in Abacoa.
The 73,000-square-foot project would have had 12 movie screens, including a 300-seat IMAX theater, and a 20-lane bowling alley. The project also had an option for a parking garage.
CineBowl was expected to bring 200 jobs to Abacoa, with construction starting this year.
“This was going to be (Frank’s) crown jewel,” Rendina told The Post.
The Jupiter Town Council unanimously approved the project in June 2017, despite opposition from Palm Beach County officials who said the project didn’t address parking needs for the neighboring Roger Dean Stadium. The project manager at the time countered that only a half-dozen big events each year demanded more parking.
Rendina cited two main factors for the project’s failure: Financing and the county’s demand for more parking for spring training baseball.
“It’s our belief that the parking need is a perception, not a reality,” Rendina said.
He added that he still wishes to bring a “desperately needed” entertainment center to Abacoa.
“On the bright side, we’ve got significant interest from other movie theater operators,” he said, declining to name them.