The Moore American

Local News

March 20, 2013

Bill Warren sets record straight

MOORE — Bill Warren of Warren Theatre said after reading a story in Wednesday’s Norman Transcript, he wanted to set the record straight regarding the location of the $30 million movie theater in Moore.

The sales tax generated by Moore’s Warren Theatre has been a long standing point of contention in Norman city politics. The dispute came to a head recently in the campaign for Norman mayor.

A campaign mailer sent out by Tom Sherman for Mayor challenges Rosenthal’s leadership in three areas, saying she “rejected the Warren Theatre, which then went to Moore,” resulting in the loss of tax dollars for Norman.

However, Bill Warren made the announcement that he would build the $30 million theater in Moore on July 9, 2005 — two years before Rosenthal took office as mayor.

After reading the story in the Norman Transcript, he called to set the record straight and to comment on the positive relationship he has with Moore’s city leadership.

“The thing about the current mayor rejecting Warren Theatre is a bald-faced lie,” Warren said in a telephone interview. “I read your article. I don’t know either candidate, but this is a lie.”

Warren said he wants to put the rumors to rest once and for all.

“We never approached the city government in Norman for one simple reason, and that’s because there is already an existing movie theater there,” he said. “I’m not trying to inject myself into local politics, but it was a lie.”

The Warren Theatre outgrosses any theater in a 10-state area, he said. And the IMAX at Moore is the No. 1 IMAX in America and Canada.

“It outgrosses New York,” Warren said. “When it opened, the first week it opened, it had the highest gross of any IMAX in the world.”

The Moore City Council approved $2 million in sales tax rebates for the IMAX theater and a restaurant as an incentive.

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