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Babylon proposed arts center parking at issue

The closed Babylon Cinemas in Babylon is seen

The closed Babylon Cinemas in Babylon is seen on Sept. 9, 2014. Credit: Ed Betz

A Babylon Village Planning Board hearing for a proposed West Main Street performing arts center last week focused on parking, a precious commodity during peak hours in the downtown business district.

A parking engineer hired by Mark and Dylan Perlman, the father and son team who would own and run the center, told board members there would be “more than ample” space for an expected 177 to 207 theater patron and employee vehicles if on-street and nearby municipal lots are considered together.

But board officials asked for further study and about the possibility of a trolley to take employees from the Long Island Rail Road station to the theater.

Patrons from the restaurants and bars along Main Street sometimes venture into the neighborhoods immediately to the south in search of parking and traffic shortcuts, annoying residents there. Related concerns snarled a bid by Christ Episcopal Church, on Prospect Street, to open a community kitchen in 2015. The kitchen eventually opened, with assurances from management that on-street parking would be closely managed.

The parking study, by Huntington Station-based PSC Engineering, found 239 on-street and 704 off-street spaces within a one-block radius of the theater, at 34 West Main Street.

The former movie theater closed in 2014.

The Perlmans, Seaford residents who have said they intend to bring Broadway-grade shows as well as music, movies and theater classes to the now-shuttered space, are scheduled to appear before village trustees Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.

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