Harper Theater mired in red tape

Staff Writer

The Harper Theater’s opening has been delayed due to red tape, says owner Tony Fox.

Fox, president and CEO of ADF Capital Ltd., which is renovating and ready to operate Harper Theater, said the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protections has required a 60-day window before issuing a business license. Something Fox thought he had taken care of when Harper Theater went before the zoning board in December 2011.

The 20 registered voters who live within 200 feet of the theater, 5283 S. Harper Ave., can use this window to voice their objections to the theater operating before the city will issue a license.

“I haven’t spoken to each individual but everyone I have heard from is in favor of the theater opening,” Fox said.

“If we didn’t have to go through that we’d be showing films today. By forcing us to comply with this irrelevant statute it’s basically robbed the community of their theater through this holiday season,” Fox said.

The waiting period expired on Dec. 29, Fox said. There will need to be another public hearing and if no strong objections are raised, the theater can begin showing films.

“I’m providing 15 part time jobs in the neighborhood and I’m going to generate thousands of dollars of sales taxes in the neighborhood and (the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protections doesn’t) want me to open,” Fox said.