Dickson Street movie theater plans canceled, building for sale

An architect’s rendering of The Lumiere, an independent movie theater that was planned for construction on Dickson Street.

Marlon Blackwell Architects

Plans for a new movie theater on Dickson Street are off.

The development team behind the planned August & Louie independent theater project on Friday announced the decision in a news release.

“After working for almost four years, we are sad to announced that we are not moving forward with August & Louie,” the release stated. “The overwhelming support and excitement we received from the Northwest Arkansas community during this project has been humbling and we are truly sorry that we could not accomplish this for our community.”

Locals Brian Hill, Ross Cully and Greg Billingsley had plans for a three-story facility at 227 W. Dickson Street in the space formerly home to the Dickson Theater.

The team said they overcame many obstacles with the help of city planners, but were ultimately unable to achieve a workable construction budget for the project.

The building was to be called the Lumiere, and was designed by renowned Fayetteville architect Marlon Blackwell. Plans included three indoor movie theaters, a cafe, a bar, and a rooftop screen for outdoor movie nights.

The movie theater portion of the building was to be named August & Louie, after French pioneer inventors and early filmmakers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere. The partners had hoped to include two 50-seat theaters for independent and documentary films, along with a roughly 250- to 300-seat event space for movies, live music and conferences.

“We are encouraged by the vibrant arts community in Fayetteville that has continued to grow in recent years since we purchased the property, including the Walton Arts Center redesign and the TheatreSquared development,” the release stated. “It was our desire and vision to join those organizations in bringing the arts to a broader audience by curating and promoting independent film. Our hope is that someone in the future will build and even surpass our vision for an independent theater in Fayetteville.”

The partners in 2016 purchased a portable outdoor movie screen, and planned to show films around town to begin building a buzz about the project. They had also begun working with chefs to create a menu for the cafe.

“We are grateful to the Northwest Arkansas community, the City of Fayetteville employees, Arvest Bank, the Dickson Street Merchants Association, our friends, and families for the incredible support and encouragement during the past four years,” the release stated.

According to the release, the building is currently for sale and being marketed by Matt Mozzoni with Sage Partners.