In Rockwall, Plans to Block the Cinemark Sign Wind Up in Federal Court

Categories: Biz, Legal Battles

CinemarkRockwall.jpg
Jonesdr77, via Wikimedia Commons
A piece of classic Rockwall architecture is in danger. The Cinemark movie theater, whose majestic faux-Mediterranean facade and tasteful neon signage are the apotheosis of the modern strip-center design movement, will no longer greet eastbound drivers on Interstate 30 unless a team of developers and their allies at Rockwall City Hall can be stopped.

At issue is Marina Village, a mixed-use development with 399 condos and 16,000 square feet of retail planned for the shore of Lake Ray Hubbard, right next to The Harbor, which houses the Cinemark.

Marina Village is being sold by the developers as a complement to the decade-old entertainment district. What they don't say, and what The Harbor's owner, TF-Harbor LLC, has to point out in a federal lawsuit filed on Sunday, is that the development will "completely obstruct the 'Cinemark' sign facing I-30."

The lawsuit targets the developers, for drawing up the plans, and the the city of Rockwall, for aiding and abetting the developers by voting this year to lift zoning restrictions on the Marina Harbor property protecting drivers' view of the Cinemark.

The decision will undoubtedly cost Cinemark visitors, which is the purported reason for the lawsuit, but the bigger issue here is the wanton destruction of an historic decade-old view. If future travelers coming into Rockwall no longer experience the vista of red neon glinting off the pristine waters of Lake Ray Hubbard, their lives will be poorer for it.

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31 comments
southwestfork
southwestfork

I don't remember the last time a sign from a movie theater made me stop there and watch a movie. I usually map closest theater by the movie I want to see and starting times. I live in Rockwall and enjoy it. But I could careless if we have more development out there. I get cranky trying to get into the place with all the shat driving skills of the upper scale gangsters that cant find town east mall.

doublecheese
doublecheese

I don't live in Rockwall, but I like it.  Seems like a nice place to me.  I don't get the hate.

observist
observist topcommenter

Whenever I go to Rockwall, I always feel like somebody's watchin' me.  Wo-oh-oah.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

We'd all be better off if Rockwall and all in it were at the bottom of Ray Hubbard.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Cinemark cannot encumber (limit the use) the tracts between them and the freeway.

Good luck with that "historic" ten year old neon.

Beer30
Beer30

a horrible town full of terrible bastards that feel like trash because they dont live in Southlake

valorie1
valorie1

First world problems....

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

If people can't find the ONLY theater in town, a sign isn't going to matter.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

So the people driving through Rockwall to get to Louisiana to drink, gamble, or both, won't be stopping in to see a movie? The horrors!

observist
observist topcommenter

Oh noes!  The unobstructed view of the classic 2004 Cinemark sign is in danger!  Pledge your support to the Suburban Historic Preservation Society and join the fight to maintain this unique vintage suburbascape!

markzero
markzero

@holmantx it might be that The Harbor cut some deal with the city way back when to put those restrictions in place before they started building. If they did, there could be a case based on how long the deal was supposed to last.

ryan762
ryan762

@Sharon_Moreanus You say that, but I tried to go there when it first opened and had a hell of a time finding it (though I don't live in Rockwall and at least two closer theaters have opened since then). It didn't help that Goolge maps steered me way wrong (it was too new, I guess, but they could have just not made up a location if it couldn't find it).

NewsDog
NewsDog

@P1Gunter   You may need to drink a little less. You can't get to Louisiana on I 30.

bushwood.smithie
bushwood.smithie

@P1Gunter

If you're driving through Rockwall to get to Louisiana then you're already lost. I-30 goes to Arkansas.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@observist 

As far as it goes, The Harbor does a pretty good job of looking nice from the freeway and providing a gathering place for people. I've been to several of the free concerts on Thursdays and occasionally eat at the Gloria's location, there.

I could not care less if the sign was obstructed, but I will say that I think a bunch of condo towers would look worse than the facade that the development now presents.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Yes it is pretty hard. Take exit 67a. Right on shoreline trail. Right on summer lee drive.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@NewsDog @P1Gunter I suppose you're right, you split off on US-80 to get to Shreveport before you get to Rockwall. Which again begs the question, why does anyone drive to Rockwall?

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Southlake does border Lake Grapevine Sharon.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

No but it's not in Southlake is it now honey?

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Neither of them are real lakes. Reservoirs yes, lakes no.

ryan762
ryan762

@Sharon_MoreanusI followed the directions the mapping people gave me. I didn't pass it on I30 since I came down 205.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@NewsDog @P1Gunter I live in Forest Hills, so I-30 is the closest free ways that runs east from here. Keep in mind it's been a few years since I've made the trek to Sam's Town out in Shreveport, but I think the route was 30 to 80 to 20. There's also a Taco Casa right off I-30 and Broadway.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@P1Gunter @NewsDog   You drive through Rockwall to get to Greenville or Sulpher Springs or Texarkana or Little Rock.

Wait a minute, why do you get on I 30 in the first place? 

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