The Villages has confirmed there is no plan to reopen the Barnstorm Theater at Brownwood Paddock Square.
Villages Vice President for Community Relations Gary Lester appeared at a recent town hall meeting conducted by The Villages Homeowners Advocates. In the closed-door meeting, it was made clear that the Barnstorm Theater is to remain closed unless there is a national resurgence in movie theater attendance and the unbridled American appetite for streaming at home starts to level off.
The Barnstorm Theater closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of the theater was reopened when it was used as a treatment center.
Many residents have voiced their displeasure that the theater at Brownwood has not reopened.
“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that the Barnstorm Theater is closed, especially now that there is so much growth south of 44,” said Rick Hassall of the Village of Newell.
Wendy Wright of the Village of Lake Deaton agrees that the lone theater, the Old Mill Playhouse at Lake Sumter Landing, does not meet the need for the population of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
“This is absolutely crazy to have just one theater available for almost 150,000 people,” she said.
The Rialto Theater at Spanish Springs Town Square, the original movie theater in The Villages, is being converted to a gym.