The Ottumwa Courier

July 26, 2013

Cinema X's future unknown

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The future of the former Cinema X Theater is up in the air, but it can no longer be an adult theater.

The theater closed after the body of manager Kenneth McDaniel was discovered on March 11, 2012. Bruce Darnell Pollard Jr. was convicted in his murder on Tuesday.

But the building has been silent for more than a year, which means it cannot reopen as an adult theater, said Planning and Development Director Nick Klimek.

It had been operating as a "legal, non-conforming use" for years. The theater was originally grandfathered in to the commercial district, operating legally under a conditional use permit.

"But if it closes for a period of one year, then the zoning code requires that it goes back to a regular, conforming use," Klimek said.

According to the city's zoning ordinance, the theater must now be a commercial district, in line with the rest of the block.

"It could operate as any retail or service business, anything traditionally thought of as commercial — but not an adult business," Klimek said.

And when it comes to establishing adult businesses, they cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school, park or residential area. The theater is currently closer than 1,000 feet to Ottumwa High School. Chills N' Thrills, though, also operates under legal non-conforming use, therefore it can legally operate as an adult establishment.

Cinema X owner Debbie Wieseler could not immediately be reached for comment.

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