VENTNOR — Brett Denafo, who brought new life to a Stone Harbor movie theater, plans to turn the closed Ventnor Twin into a thoroughly modern movie house in time for next summer’s films.

Denafo, 41, of Northfield, made the announcement Monday afternoon in front of the closed theater in the presence of his development partners, city officials and residents of the North Beach neighborhood.

Settlement on the commercial property at 5211 Ventnor Ave. was made at 11 a.m. Monday.

Denafo paid about $400,000 for the building itself, but the development costs for the renovated theater with three movie screens, a second floor bar/restaurant and parking lot — which together will take up most of the block — will be about $3 million in total, he said.

Denafo and his partners, Clint Bunting and Scot Kauffman, purchased the building from Bruce Frank, of Frank Investments. They bought the Stone Harbor movie theater from the same company before transforming it into Harbor Square Theatre.

The plan is to gut the interior of the old Ventnor Twin but leave the shell of it, Denafo said.

“It’s not in terrible shape. It looks terrible,” Denafo said. “Engineers came out and said it was a solid building.”

The building has been closed for 15 years. Most of the damage is water in the basement from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Mayor Beth Holtzman said Sunday night felt like Christmas Eve.

“This theater is part of Ventnor, and it’s going to come back to life again. I am just off-the-hook excited,” Holtzman said.

Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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