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Plans to build a movie theater, retail space near Ellenton Outlets in the works

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ELLENTON, Fla. - Another entertainment option could soon be coming to the Northeast part of Manatee County. There's talk of bringing a movie cinema to Ellenton.

Plans are in the works to build a 34,000 square foot movie theater and more than 9,000 square feet of retail space on seven acres of land at the Ellenton Outlets. Bev Stemper lives across the street from where this theater would be built. She and other people who live in the neighborhood have some concerns about the project.

"I think that would be a great idea as long as it wouldn't cause any extra traffic for the residents here," said Stemper.

Stemper's boyfriend Steve Cornelius believes this would be a nice boost to the area. He tells us that land has been sitting vacant there for far too long.

"It'll be creating more jobs and I think it'll attract more people to this area and I think it'll increase the property value," said Cornelius.

OM Cinemas is the group interested in building this movie cinema and retail space. They are the same owners that oversee the Parkway 8 Cinema in North Sarasota. The theater's owner could not be reached for comment, so it's not known how many cinemas would be part of this development.

Some folks who work at the outlets say the closest movie theater is nearly 12 miles away, so many people are in favor of this.

"I think it would be great," said one employee at the Ellenton Outlets. "There's not much to do in the area, there's a lot of residential not so much nightlife here."

Before these plans move forward, it will need to be approved by the planning commission and then by Manatee County Commissioners.