Memphis movie theatre melee prompts town hall meeting

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis city leaders announced new plans Thursday night to control crowds in the East Memphis Entertainment district - the 113 acres of stores, restaurants and venues located at Poplar Avenue, Mendenhall and White Station.

The meeting was called after Memphis police arrested nine teenagers during a melee in the parking lot of the popular Paradiso Movie Theatre last weekend.

Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad, Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery and other city leaders say the're working ensure people stay safe there and businesses continue to thrive.

Part of the solution means minors won't be watching R-rated movies at night, even if they're accompanied by their parents..

At least 100  people showed up at the town hall meeting

"We just want to be a good citizen and provide quality entertainment for the community," said Malco Theatre Executive Jimmy Tashie.

He says the problem occurred when parents dropped teenagers who planned to see R-rated films off at the theatre.

Tashie says Malco has now instituted a strict new policy.

Signs posted at the theatre read, "Parents, please be advised no one under 18 years of age will be admitted to any R-rated film after 6:00 p.m. at the Paradiso."

Neighbors say they're pleased with the plan.

"We go to the Paradiso often," said concerned citizen Sally Navarra. "We like to see movies, but we do not want to go and be confronted with the situation like this past weekend."

Navarra says she appreciates Malco taking action. "I think they have made a good effort, a real good effort. The proof will be in the pudding."

Police say the Paradiso also has sufficient security.

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