Developer set to tear down Apollo cinema

November 27, 2018

The beleaguered Apollo Coventry Cinemas building will soon be no more.

The 13-screen movie theater’s approximately four-acre property, along with four vacant adjoining acres, has been sold to an Indianapolis-area developer that plans to tear down the theater and build an apartment complex on the site.

Neal Bowman of Sturges Property Group, who facilitated the sale, said the new owner is Ventry Apartments LLC of Carmel. State corporations records list John Hennessey as manager of the company.

Hennessey is president of Sunstone Construction in Carmel and a partner in Domo Development, which was involved in developing the Cityscape Flats upscale apartment complex in downtown Fort Wayne just west of Parkview Field.

Domo also is the developer of the Steeplechase at Parkview apartment complex off Diebold and Dupont roads near Parkview Regional Medical Center and Bonterra, an apartment complex off Coldwater Road in Perry Township.

Bowman said it’s likely the new apartments will be similar to those in other Hennessey-backed projects, which are “multigenerational” and not geared only to seniors.

The theater property sold for 840,000.

Bowman said he marketed the properties for retail, movie theater and church use. They are zoned limited commercial, which allows multifamily residential buildings and complexes.

Hennessey did not return a call Monday afternoon seeking more information about the new use.

The movie house fell on hard times after construction of an 18-theater complex at Jefferson Pointe, now an AMC theater. That made it difficult to book first-run movies, as well as justify renovations or sale as a theater property, Bowman said.

The theater most recently showed second-run movies at discounted prices, but patrons started complaining about the conditions, including on Facebook, where one post was shared 2,000 times in just a matter of days this year. 

In February, the theater was shut down amid uncorrected health department and building code violations. They included mouse droppings in the concessions area, roof leaks, inoperable plumbing and lack of heat in all but a handful of screening rooms.

The theater was put up for sale by March.


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