Malco Theatres sues Overton Square owners over parking

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Malco Theatres is taking Loeb Properties--the owners of Overton Square--to court in a feud over parking around its Studio on the Square theater in Midtown.

Malco said Loeb Properties has continually eliminated free parking and that's hurting their bottom line.

Dawn Tucker said lack of free parking has been a factor for her in deciding if she should see a movie at Studio on the Square.

"Yeah, at night I end up going to the Paradiso which, you know, their parking lot is huge," she said.

Malco said it has invested millions in the digital upgrade of the Studio on the Square, and the current parking situation violates its preexisting lease.

Malco's theater opened in 2000, and Loeb Properties purchased Overton Square in 2012.

The theater operator said the parking garage that was constructed in 2013 did not alleviate any of the parking concerns because at night the garage is paid parking.

The construction of the Hattiloo Theatre also reduced available parking by trimming the size of the lot.

Malco said the number of free spots in that area after construction of the garage and theater went from 475 to 137.

Lawyers for Malco said Studio on the Square has seen its net profits reduced from levels it would have achieved had appropriate parking been supplied.

Loeb is currently planning to build a $24 million boutique hotel in Overton Square. Lawyers for Malco are asking, as part of their judgment, that Loeb be restricted from constructing anything on existing surface parking lots.

Joshua Anderson lives in Midtown and said he doesn't buy the theater's argument.

"I think it's a waste of money. If Loeb Properties wouldn't have redeveloped this area--it truly, truly rejuvenated this part of Midtown," Anderson said.

The Chancery Clerk's office did not provide a response filing from Loeb Properties.

Kendall Downing reached out to both Loeb Properties and Malco on Friday, and got no comment from either, citing that they do not comment on pending litigation.

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