Sign at the site of the planned EPIC Theatres site in Mount Dora
off U.S. Highway 441 between Target and Wal-Mart.
(Jerry Fallstrom / Orlando Sentinel)
Mount Dora repeals ordinance,
clearing final hurdle for long-awaited EPIC movie theater
The promised EPIC Theatres movie venue has taken a long time to become a reality.
But the multiplex is closer to happening.
EPIC Theatres picked up building permits last week to start on a project that was announced more than two years ago.
A 14-screen multiplex along U.S. Highway 441 between Target and Walmart.
The final hurdle was overcome the day before when City Council members approved repealing an arts ordinance that would have cost the theater company about $100,000.
The ordinance required property owners to pay a sliding fee that depended on the total cost of their commercial project that went toward arts that benefits the public.
For EPIC, the city required the theater company to pay 1 percent of the $10 million project for art, which would have amounted to $100,000.
The company’s attorney Derek Schroth argued the ordinance was an illegal tax
and the city’s attorney agreed that it wouldn’t hold up in court.
The 17-acre site will be EPIC’s second location in Lake County.
EPIC opened a 16-screen multiplex in Clermont in 2009.
EPIC Theatres President Frank DeMarsh said they estimate
the theater could be open in about 13 months.
“It’s great, but for us, it wasn’t the best thing to have this project take so long to start,”
“but I’m very glad it’s getting started, and I know residents are as well.”