The former Destinta Theaters, a local staple of the New Windsor community, underwent demolition until a stop work order was issued. As of Monday, February 5 or prior, New Windsor Supervisor Stephen Bedetti informed the town board that the applicant has satisfied the necessary requirements to proceed.
In December 2023, NYC Excavation Group had submitted a demolition application on behalf of the owner of the theater, New Windsor Destinta Plaza LLC. The theater that faces Quassaick Ave and the former theater building that faces Union Ave were both to be demolished, according to Bedetti.
The stop work order issued by the town was due to the applicant conducting work with non-cut gas, improper fencing, an active water meter, active adjacent tenants and other areas of concern.
Bedetti, with Deputy Supervisor Steven Moreau, went with the town’s fire inspector, other town department representatives and Central Hudson representatives to outline how to go about the demolition process with the applicant. A condition now put in place by New Windsor going forward is that representatives of Central Hudson would be present on-site, said Bedetti. With active gas lines under the property, the presence of Central Hudson on-site is a safety precaution.
The theater closed in 2019 and came under the ownership of Phoenix Theatres. It reopened but closed again and has remained vacant for several years. Prior to Bedetti’s tenure as supervisor, the owners had appeared before former supervisor George Meyers with the idea to build apartments on that parcel, which did not happen. Recently, Bedetti met with the owners of the property. “We did meet with them and lo and behold, they’re looking to put apartments there,” said Bedetti.
According to Bedetti, the property is not zoned within the town code for residential usage but rather for commercial usage. From the meeting, there were conversations and suggestions about mixed use buildings so as to bring back a retail component into that area. If the zoning were to change, it would be up to the town board, said Bedetti.
Moreau also concurred that the idea of apartments does not make sense for that parcel but he said he does recognize where the property owner is coming from with the inactive theater.
“It’s a tough business now with Netflix and everything going on so there’s that part where you kinda can’t blame him if he’s trying to save some money on the taxes and ultimately make a business or do something there that’s going to make him money,” said Moreau.
The Walden Savings Bank building is set to remain and the other active tenants will continue to operate in the portion of the building next to the theater as their leases are set to expire in 2026.