“We pointed out (the plans) really did not go along with the guidelines of the historic district. You could feel a a certain tension in the room about this … we suggested that everything behind the lobby and the facade of the Princess theater is not historic anymore. You could tear it all out, and have new construction of the building with three stories,” said Robert Benson, the vice chair of the HAPC.
Matt Rodbro, one of the owners of the Princess, said it is “far too early to tell” when the theater might reopen, but reopening is still the goal.
“We are continuing to work toward some kind of plan that will be acceptable to the city,” he said.
The Princess Theater closed Nov. 25, 2012, after its then-owner, Alliance Entertainment, sold 25 of 26 theaters to Regal Cinemas, but Regal did not want Oxford’s theater because it was smaller than the others in the sale. The theater underwent renovations, reopening in late 2013 until the fire the following March.
Fans of the theater lamented the closing on the theater's Facebook page. Oxford resident Daniel Fairbanks posted, "A town without a movie theatre is a sad town indeed."