New N. Fulton movie theater gets incentive package from city

The incentive package will save Sandy Springs Cinema and Taphouse an estimated $11,290.

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The incentive package will save Sandy Springs Cinema and Taphouse an estimated $11,290.

The Springs Cinema and Taphouse — formerly known as the Lefont Sandy Springs movie theater — is getting a boost from Sandy Springs.

At a council meeting on Jan. 16, councilmembers unanimously approved giving the theater an incentive package that is aimed at small businesses.

The theater is the first recipient of this incentive package, which the city created last year.

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Under the deal, the Springs Cinema and Taphouse is getting a waiver on paying its building permit fee and it won’t have to pay for three years of city business taxes. The value of that is projected to be an $11,290 savings for the theater, according to city documents.

The city’s economic development incentive policy was updated in July 2017 to provide incentives for the retention or expansion of existing businesses located within Sandy Springs, and to encourage the establishment of new targeted businesses within the city. To qualify for the incentive, businesses must make a capital investment of $750,000 or more, be located in a priority redevelopment area and create at least 15 new jobs.

Springs Cinema and Taphouse applied to receive waivers from those fees on Jan. 4. According to the application, the facility “has fallen into a state of disrepair” and the owners are investing $1.5 million into the facility, hiring 17 new employees and will be committing to a 15-year lease.

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To apply for the incentive, businesses must fill out necessary paperwork with the city offices. It will then be presented at a public hearing and then approved or denied by the city council.

The theater in the Parkside Shopping Center was the last of a handful owned in metro Atlanta by George Lefont. He sold the Sandy Springs location in November to a Cobb County resident, Brandt Gully.

The theater is open now and showing several movies. It is also a venue for the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

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