Bellevue's Marianne Theater redeveloper drops brewery from project

Posted at 12:00 PM, Nov 05, 2016
and last updated 2017-01-12 17:27:46-05

BELLEVUE, Ky. -- Plans have changed for the future of a historic Northern Kentucky movie theater, according to Bellevue city officials.

Jody Robinson, assistant city administrator, confirmed that the city has given developer Kent Hardman more time to refine his redevelopment plans for the Marianne Theater and secure funding to purchase the building.

"What I do know is the brewery portion was eliminated by the potential developer," Robinson said of Hardman's current plans for the Fairfield Avenue theater.

Hardman opened Fireside Pizza inside Cincinnati’s oldest firehouse at Peebles Corner in 2014. He entered an option-to-purchase agreement to buy the Marianne property from Bellevue in September 2015, saying he hoped to turn the former movie theater into a brewery and restaurant. At the time, he also said he was scouting for a local brewer to move into the space after renovations were finished.

Since then two other craft breweries have opened in Northern Kentucky. Darkness Brewing, a microbrewery, opened July 23 at 224 Fairfield Ave., a few blocks from the Marianne. Wooden Cask Brewing Co., located at 629 York St. in Newport, is currently open for limited hours and will host an official grand opening on Nov. 12.

Bellevue purchased the 1940s-era theater in 2014 and placed it on the National Register of Historic Places in order to save it from further deterioration or destruction. The Marianne permanently closed in the late 1990s.

Hardman did not return calls for comment. Robinson said the city hopes to have an update on his plans for the theater by December.

When he initially announced his plans to buy the building, he said he had no firm timeline for when renovations would begin.

“I need to do my due diligence before we move ahead with the project,” he said.