The folllowing appeared in the Sun. Dec. 27, 2009 issue of the Globe South section of The Boston Globe:
Regarding “Square, Legacy Place at Odds’’ (Globe South, Dec. 17): While Dedham Square businesses have felt an impact from Legacy Place, the square is far from being a sinking ship. Many businesses report healthy sales this month, and each week more new people are discovering Dedham Square’s unique boutiques, restaurants, and art-house movie theater. Its historic character and “small-town feel’’ offer an experience unlike that of a large retail complex.
The Dedham Square Circle organizes free community events and a weekly farmers’ market to attract visitors. The town has applied for a $1.3 million state grant for long-overdue infrastructure improvements in the square to improve traffic flow and make it safer for pedestrians.
Despite our efforts to promote and improve Dedham Square, there are factors we can’t control, namely the Dedham Community Theatre’s inability to obtain the art-house movies it needs to survive. In 2007, two consultants studied the economic impact of Legacy Place on Dedham Square and surmised that if the theater’s business declined dramatically, it would have long-term negative effects on downtown. Businesses already struggling are at risk of closing their doors permanently.
We hope that a creative solution can be sought with National Amusements so the Dedham Community Theatre has the chance to obtain even a handful of big-name films a year to attract more business. If the theater continues to lose out every time it competes with the Cinema De Luxe to get a new film, the consequences to the entire square will be dire.
Dedham Square Circle