Cine-4 Closes, Becoming Early Ed Campus

By Thomas Breen
New Haven Independent

NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT — The lights are off and the popcorn’s all gone from a decades-old independent movie theater on Middletown Avenue — which new nonprofit owners aim to convert to a bustling campus for affordable early childhood education.

Those are the latest developments with the Ciné 4 movie theater property at 371 Middletown Ave. / 25 Flint St. in Quinnipiac Meadows near the North Haven border. The theater showed its last films last week, screening Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris, Where the Crawdads Sing, My Donkey, My Lover & I and Elvis.

According to the city’s online land records database, on Aug. 5, the Friends Center for Children Inc. purchased the 1.93-acre parking lot-and-movie theater property from Soffer Associates for $1.3 million. The city last appraised the property as worth $1,070,900.

The property’s new owner — a Fair Haven Heights-based, Quaker-influenced early childhood education program — plans to transform the former movie theater site into offices, classrooms, a library, and outdoor play spaces for young children and childcare providers. They also plan on preserving one of the theater’s four screening rooms as a community space for watching movies. (See below for more details on the Friends Center’s plans.)

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