Club XXL closed for good?

“We’re operating as a kids’ nightclub. Well, I wouldn’t say it was a kids’ nightclub…” So said Anthony Chiplin, operator of “Family Entertainment Center,” better known through its fliers as “Club XXL.” Chiplin has ten days to file an appeal to the zoning board’s decision to deny him an exemption.

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 9:55 am  Comments (52)  

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  1. Now this is going to be ineresting. Why? Could a fight from city hall emerge from this? And one more thing it was the first time this club got mentioned in the Post.

  2. That’s right, Chuck. The first time Club XXL made any news at all was right here on Vicksburg Speaks!

  3. Good Riddance!!!!

  4. I drove by Club XXL around 10PM Friday night – it was open and doing a thriving business. Disturbing, too, was the sight of several groups of young people gathered across the street and on down Speed Street. There have been windows broken, vehicles smeared with feces, and confrontations with property owners along that stretch of Speed Street, not to mention the murder and drive-by shootings that have occurred on the next uphill block of Speed. There was a police vehicle parked in front of the small convenience store on Washington Street, so the police are apparently monitoring the area. The closure of Club XXL will no doubt be welcomed by the residents in that neighborhood. But Anthony Chiplin, owner of Club XXL, brought up a good point during the zoning hearing: There needs to be a venue of some kind for these kids that allows them a safe way to gather and interact socially. Until that need is resolved, these “gangs” are going to be part of the landscape.

  5. There are many nice kids that deserve a decent palce to hang out and enjoy themselves. the problem is how do you deter the trouble makers.. To me that seems to be the problem.
    I am happy the club is closed or closing. Seems when it was posted about before, We were right on!!. Not a good place.

  6. The one consistant complaint I heard from friends of mind who are parents that I work with that kids don’t have place to go to and there isn’t a venues for families. This problem needs to be addressed.

  7. Chuck, what are you going to do?

    It is easy to point out the problems, you are prolific in that area. Do something to improve it, find something positive.

    I have noticed over the past couple of months posting on here that you only point out the negatives. You infer bad intent by those in a position of authority. Chuck, if this area is so bad find another. I am tired of hearing your constant complaints on this and other forums about our city.

    Every city has problems, no place is perfect. Find a perfect city and move there Chuck. In the mean time stop spreading unsubstantiated rumors and gossip like in your other posts on this and other forums.

    We need some more activities for our children in this town. Get on the solution side of things.

    Call the Mayors office and ask them what you can do to help. You will find you can make a difference, you will find there are projects underway, you will find an outlet for your energy. You will feel better about your town if you get on the positive action side of things.

  8. U want to know the real reality of Vicksburg and why it has never progressed? Lack of leadership on both levels in city and county. I’m getting tired of being accussed of malicious when all u have to do is step out of the door and see the vacant buildings around. A mall in real sorry shape. Also I’m not alone feeling negative. There are more than one who feels the same way. And it cuts across the board.
    Here’s another fact: a great deal people are getting fed up over too many hotels being constructed. I kid you not. They’re getting fed up and they want real change. Not lip service.

  9. I think it is fair to hear both sides of every topic. I do not think Chuck is bashing anyone. but does have some valid points to ponder. he is right about the mall and I for one have to wonder WHY so many hotels?? it would be great if we could have some really good chain restaurants and more selective shopping. I normally end up going to Jackson to shop for certain things and eat out.. We do not have a movie theater so we have to go to Clinton or Jackson. This is the first time I have ever known Vicksburg not to have a movie theater. There use to be two here and in the old days a Drive In.

  10. JP the last time Vicksburg didn’t have a movie theatre was over a 100yrs ago. Since malls have 25yr economic cycles our mall is in a downturn state now.Also the commuters have made strong valid points why they don’t want to live here too. Also how come does a place like this with a high living index lack certain enemeties? Commuters from Clinton have told the Vicksburg Post why they don’t want to live nor work hear. When the cinema closed it caused the shopping market to shift with it. Worst CBL Associates hasn’t come out publicly on the mall’s fate which in turn is generating rumors of the mall closing. Also I’m not in the bashing business. That is considered inapproiate nettiquette.

  11. Malcolm have you thought to reopen your building as a theater as it once was? Even as an upscale theater? Even to propose it to business developers to back your idea with so much progress being made and pushed towards the downtown area. You can present your idea to the Mayor and to the MainStreet Board. What about a dinner theater? Ask chuck to be one of your financial backers. I can tell Chuck has many good ideas and seems to have a handle on what Vicksburg needs to make it a success. All these great ideas you gentlemen present and you have the resources to not only present them but to act upon them as well. Show us you are serious by reopening your building as the grandest movie theater (dinner theater) this part of the country has ever seen. Show us what you’re made of other than talk!

  12. Bertha, since I have no experience running a theatre, much less a dinner theatre, I’m looking for someone to lease the old Strand. In fact, I have an ad coming out in the Post this week. You seem to have some great ideas of your own, with a handle on how to present same to the mayor, aldermen, etc., and even a tentative financial backer – Chuck – so… how about you leasing it and show us how it’s done?

  13. I’m glad to read what Vicksburg Speaks wrote. It shows the difference between the Mayor (Leyens) and others. Mayor Leyens has ideas and implements them and builds his successful empire “in Vicksburg” then is criticized for doing so. Other “Vicksburgers Speak” do nothing and criticize. Even if Club XXL wasn’t a success, the owner made an attempt to have a place for teens to be off the street. Where will they go now? Let’s applaud this man and his backers for their attempts and ask them to try another approach.

  14. In today’s market for any cinema operator the market forces are challenging. This is a new reality now. Market forces don’t sit still they’re constantly changing. Now here are new competitiors that cinema operators do face.
    1. Blockbuster
    2. Netflix. What they have in common is that now they’re offering dvds by mail and internet movie downloads.
    3. In some areas of the country Box Cineams have come back as the norm. Mall cinemas are no loger profitable. Cinemark,AMC, just to name a few cineam chains are now looking at the metropolitian areas. Seriously. They’ve discovered that larger populace numbers can sustain thier return of investments. But even thier earnings numbers have dropped.
    For this market for any cinema to survive it’s going to be real tough. For Jackson and other areas in the metro area are now benefiting from this market. Just becouse a cinema closes the marketplace doesn’t sit still it moves. When CBL closed the cinema here it forced the local market into the metro area.
    There is hope. On cinema treasures I’ve been reading news of groups saving thier local cinemas.It’s happening down in Natchez. If they get thier historic one up and going–they’ll have two cinemas. I kid you not. But cinema closing have happened all over the United States. Not just here. Also the cinema chains are introducing new techonologies: digital. Digital projectors and sound. I went to Rave Motion Pictures in Destin Florida and they used digital on thier screens.
    Now for a cinema to survive and be sustained the market demographics need to be seriously reevulated. Becouse demographics have changed. Honestly a lot of cinema consumers need is lot more choices. Bad rept service issues and responibity need to be addressed. Ever ask yourself why one business here closes a few years after it opens? Lack of competition.For any cinema operator it’s a daunting task. For the consumer has a lot more choice.

  15. So Chuck, was that a yes you will get us a cinema? Or was that something else?

    Either way it’s time to do something or get on the ‘I understand’ bandwagon. Where are you on this?

  16. Actually it was an explaination on how the marketplace has changed. And what cinema owners are now facing. I can further add to what I wrote that cinema closing have dramitically affected the box office. For movies aren’t grossing in the billions of dollars anymore.
    But my personal choice of location would be near the interstate. Draw in Clinton and others markets.

  17. No applause here Wilisa for Club XXL. I think if you watch Tv23 the Zoning board meeting you will understand why it closed. It was suppose to be for kids but quickly turned in to ClubXXl not for kids. Nightclub. If it were a kids place then fine but it was not.. The proof was at the meeting. How many different names did this club have. As Chief Moffet said a sheep in wolves clothing..
    Good riddance.
    Another thing. We have been told that the club had nothing to do with the crime that went on in the area but a business like this and we all know only draws the undesirables to the area. there is enough of that already..
    The Speedy Mart has already been robbed too!!!

  18. JP that’s interesting what you wrote. Cool reporting dude.

  19. Thanks for finally giving the Chief a positive plug guys! He deserves it. AND does this mean that every place that is robbed is concidered an “undesirable area?”

  20. Not in the least Wilisa. the area is well known for criminal activity. Everytime that store opens there has been a shooting or robbery. I was just waiting for it to happen. You think what is next..
    It may not be the fault of the store owners or any of the business owners but the fact it is draws crowds ,. of undesirable people. hanging out late at night. gathering. up to no good.
    the guy at the miss hardware building was also at the meeting and he said he has had rocks, big stones thrown through his windowns, shots have been fired into his building. So that is what I am talking about .. Some underage some of age. you have to wonder where are the parents of these kids. do they care. or Are they afraid of their children..
    It is just a fact that since the store opened groups have been hanging out late at night and that is the problem.
    The guy with the club XXl he just got caught and glad he did..
    I was very sorry the store opened, because i knew what it would lead too. which is a shame because those people who bought and invested their money to have a business will probably not last due to the crime.
    The lst time that store was opened there was a man shot inside.. Hsitory repeats itseslf it seems.

  21. Wow. Just wow.

    It sounds almost as if the posters in this thread want something to happen in that area.

    How about this. Go down there, talk to those kids, get involved with their lives. Become part of a citizens watch to keep undesirables from doing too much. 6 rogue children cannot overcome a citizenry of 26,994.

    I am very happy that someone, with the intestinal fortitude to actually do something other than complain, whine and point fingers, has opened a business in that area. I am happy someone like Mark can take on the challenge of living in that area. I am happy the police are keeping a watchful eye on that area.

    The rest of you talk about it, whine about it, talk around it (like Chuck) and simply do nothing. Hey, if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the gossip mongering, old world, no guts Vicksburg that has held Vicksburg back for so long.

    Shame on you. Get out of your well guarded castles and get in the street, help those kids with no parents..tend to the widows..

    James 1:27

  22. Just Sayin “I love you!”

  23. No one wants anything to happen in the area. Quite the opposite.No gossip ,. stating the facts. Very sad facts…People have to want to be is all about choices. Right and wrong..

  24. jP credit should be given to Malcom for breaking about the Club XXL. In journalism term,Malcolm scooped the Post on this one. Becouse the Post reporters missed the story. But the Club didn’t get mentioned in the Post until the zoning issues emerged.
    But seriously the kids here need something to do. And the problem goes back to the leaders of the city and county. Becouse they’re no family venues. And kids have nothing to do but mull in parking lots and get in trouble. Historically the leaders of this town never cared for the kids. Granted some kids are smarter than you think. Why do you think when they get older move away from here? This has been a systemic problem for a long time. History would prove this out. Here’s another factoid of history. Everytime someone who worked the Army Corps of Engineers the downtown establishment raised prices with every payraise. When the corp moved out of a dangerous bldg the downtowners complained. But to put federal employees in a dangerous bldg was stupid. Here’s another fact. Before FNB became Trustmart they took would steal the checks. And that got them into touble with the Justice Department. A reliable source torld this.
    By the way I worked in the shaky towers before we moved out of it. The honest problem with this town that always had that people have find out through gossip and rumors. By the way when I was in high school I almost tracked down the source who attempted to spread a rumor on me. All rumor and gossip does is hurt people in like unschooled netiguette personal attacks. And those I haven’t phased me a bit.

  25. Just Sayin, you’re real good with advice. I assume that YOU will be out on Speed Street this next Saturday night trying to help these poor kids? By the way, be sure you have an up-to-date Will.

  26. Bert, not Saturday night, but I will be with several of those kids on Sunday…as I have been on previous Sundays and other times. I am involved in trying to solve these problems at a grass root level by showing these kids a good role model, understanding they do not have the benefits of involved parenting, like I did and by offering them pure and undefiled religion before God (James 1:27).

    Several of these kids, and many others in our community have no male role model, a mother that works and is out of the home most of the day. They are economically and socially disadvantaged. They did not choose their situation. You can choose to help them and show them that Vicksburg is a caring community.

    I post under this name because I don’t want my real identity to be known…there are those in this blog who know me and my identity…and my works. I can stand behind what I say, and my efforts to improve our community. I have put my money and effort where my mouth is. (For those of you who know me please respect my wish to remain anonymous, but I could use your support in verifying my credibility in this area.)

    Knowing that will you join us on Sunday?

    Chuck, will you do something?

    JP, could use your help too.

    I know of 3 children right now that are not attending school because their mother can’t afford school uniforms. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

    If you want to help do this (Malcolm please forgive me): Go to Albert Rose Antiques and make a donation for this specific purpose of getting those kids some school uniforms. Malcolm if you will collect those funds I will have someone come get the funds and apply it so those kids can get to school.

    # On August 12, 2008 at 6:50 am Wilisa Oliver Said:

    Just Sayin “I love you!”

    Wilisa, I love you too…and Bert and chuck and JP – Malcolm not so much (joking Malcolm). I would love it if everyone would consider themselves part of the solution.

  27. Just Sayin, I will be glad to help by collecting donations. I’ll even donate myself. But I don’t feel as much pity for these boys/young adults as you do, because I deal with similar folks nearly every day in my antique business, and for the most part they’re not very considerate people… but I’m willing to be convinced they (some, anyway) can be redeemed. By the way, it’s Adolph Rose Antiques, 717 Clay Street, Larry Walker, Prop. I just sell from a booth in the shop, and on the second floor – Larry runs the business. Thanks for trying to be part of the solution, Just Sayin.

  28. Malcolm I hope my info on the movie theatre marketplace was benefitical. I expect this market to have rapid radical changes to come.

  29. My favorite quote of the day so far is from Chuck:

    “Granted some kids are smarter than you think. Why do you think when they get older move away from here?”

    My question to Chuck, “so what then happened to you? Why can’t you give these kids a chance? Am I to wonder why you stayed here since you grew up here? Am I wrong to ask a question to a response you proposed?”

    We need more people like “Just Sayin” and I hope in his efforts others can be persuaded to be better people.

  30. Chuck, I wish I was more optimistic about the old Strand Theatre. Unfortunately, it will require a great deal of work if it is to be restored. And then, I’m just not sure a downtown theatre will be economically feasible. As I said before, I have an ad coming out in the Post this week in the “For Rent” classified section. Perhaps some hardy individual or group will give the theatre a go. I expect to allow any tenant to have the theatre rent-free for a good long period if they agree to a restoration. That may attract someone. Thanks for your input, Chuck.

  31. Bertha did have a good idea about a theater downtown and a dinner theater at that. I hope someone takes you up on your offer Malcolm. I expect it could be a success with the right investors. It’s a great location too. Especially once you have the parking lot next door. Even “B” rated movies or foreign films would be entertaining. Just another place for people to socialize in vicksburg in a pleasant atmosphere.

  32. Just to let you all know that you all should leave this club alone. It is very safe there, everyone is protected and it is good clean fun! I can’t wait to see Recognition again!

  33. I do not think he appealed to the city board. I do nto see it opening again.

  34. The business is still open, as of last night. The massive crowds were not there, but the open sign was on, there were people inside.

  35. As a matter of fact, I have emailed the mayor and asked him about trying to get some sort of family entertainment in this town. I asked about him trying to get a family fun center/park that would have something like Funtricity had. (for those that aren’t familiar with Funtricity, it had video games, put-put golf, go carts, bumper boats, batting cage, etc..) He even agreed that Vicksburg needs something like this but that we need investors to back it. I have even talked to our supervisors about this also. They said the same thing. I sent an email to CBL Properties and asked them about keeping the anchor stores and turning the part of the mall where the movie theater and game room is into a fun center/food court that already has the Chinese place and Wingo’s for starters. They ignored me. Well, I don’t know who else to turn to. I asked the Mayor why is that casino putting in a 3rd golf course when we have 2 already, why not ask them to put in another entertainment center. No reply this time.

    Anyone want to volunteer?

    Almost everyone that I have talked to says the same thing: They would love to see Vicksburg have another “Funtricity-type place”, BUT (there’s always a but) the problem with the last one is that it was used as a free daycare. People would drop their kids off and leave them for hours at a time. I say that it was poor management that allowed that to happen.

    Just Saying, I applaud your effort on trying to help these kids but they have to go right back to their neighborhoods and everything you have told them goes right back out the window. First, they have to want to be helped. You can preach to them, show them the down the right street, when they get back to their neighborhoods they get sucked right back in. I feel that we need to clean up the neighborhoods first so when we do try and help the kids they won’t get sucked back in.

    Here is what I wrote on how to clean up the neighborhoods that are troublesome on the OakStreet homeowners leaving town post:

    I read an article online about a town way north somewhere that set up patrols cars around the clock on each block, 24/7, and strictly enforcing the established curfew a couple of weeks ago. The town also set up patrol cars. The police department actually hired additional officers for these areas specifically for this. I tried to find it again but was unable to locate it. When I read that article, I thought about our trouble spot. Some people complained about that constant presence of police but most of the residents in that area were relieved. There were some groups that claimed it was profiling but if you have the proof that most of the trouble is in that area then what can they say?

    So for those of you (and you know who you are) that say most people on here just whine and complain you might want to check around and ask who all has tried to do something before you just assume and accuse people on here just whine and do nothing.

  36. You are on a wise track of stimulating the minds of the youth yet there are questions that come to mind such as; Where will “these kids” get the money to pay for such entertainment? Shouldn’t we focus on a “learning center” instead of more video games? What about teaching manners? Respect? Some form of internet learning center where kids can interact with other kids in a safe environment that are in others parts of the world…?

  37. As a parent myself, I would be all for that. Realistically though I don’t see the kids wanting to spend their weekends somewhere like that. Unless we had like an internet cafe/kid friendly lounge then they might go for that.

  38. Boredstiff, “you are a parent? AND YOU ARE BORED STIFF? What are you doing wrong?” How can you be Bored Stiff? Maybe the the problem with the troubled youth is that they too are BORED STIFF. In support of the gentleman that owns the XXL Club, at least he was trying to find an outlet for these kids that were BORED STIFF so they could find something to do to stimulate their mind. At least he was making an effort instead of throwing out ideas and criticizing others who are making an effort. Instead of shooting his efforts down and being BORED STIFF, offer your support to him. What are your kids doind? Watching 200+ channels of cable tv and bitching at how BORED STIFF they are?

  39. Just because my username is boredstiff, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am BORED STIFF. That is actually an inside joke between me and some of my closest friends. Those who know me and see this username will know what it means. I have used this username of boredstiff since I was in highschool. That just happens to my username for every web site that I am registered on. Since I have used it for so long, I see no need to change it.

    Since you asked, I have plenty of things to do and things for my child to do as well. Thank you for asking.

    I happen to deal with kids who are in their teenage years and I hear them talk about wanting places to go and more things to do because their parents will not let them drive to Jackson. So I asked them what they wanted to have around here they said that they would like to see something like what I have mentioned above here. I asked them to ask around and see what some of their peers thought and when I asked them about it later they said that everyone liked that idea. So there you have it, if you want to know, that idea came from our youth.

    I just was trying to help them get their ideas out. The kids want that.

    As for how would they get the money for that? If they can find the money to go hang out at Club XXL or buy video games for their playstation then they would find the money to go do whatever.

    I applaud anyone’s efforts at trying to help find an outlet for the kids. From what I am reading on here, it doesn’t sound like that place is a place for kids to go. I know nothing about that place, except from what I have read here.

  40. “I know nothing about that place, except from what I have read here.”

    Great point BOREDSTIFF. I bet most of the people who said negative things about club xxl would say the same.

  41. Club XXL was lame anyways. its all about the Beechwood.

  42. ive been posting here for one day so far and Malcolm sends me emails warning me that i am a troublemaker or vulgar…i didnt bother to memorize what it is that you think i am and i am bored so heres a little insight into who i am.

    I was born in Vicksburg in 1980. I have payed taxes in this town since i was of legal working age. I was an A B student at Vicksburg high school and i have lived off of Washington street most of my life. I have no serious criminal record other than a few simple assault charges from when i was younger and going through growing pains feeling like my back was aginst the wall and an outcast due to growing in poverty like so many Mississippians do.

    At the current time i am employed in Vicksburg and in my free time i play in a locally based touring musical group that has been together for over 5 years.
    Im a white male, single with no children of my own or spouse. I am the sole caretaker for my elderly (age 92) Grandmother who was a long time city employee in Warren county.

    I have read most all of the posts and topics up to date here and i think that i, at best, can add a fresh perspective to this forum if you all will consider me a part of this coomunity instead of trying to banish me on first impression. I may be a good deal rough around the edges but that is the way i have adapted to the cynical generation i am a part of.

    I deal with the youth of Vicksburg in the first person on a daily basis and have a pretty firm grip on what makes younger people tick.

    I grew up in a crime filled area and have been unfortunate enough to have had to fight physically and somewhat mentally with the people and environment i am a part of. Im not asking for anyones sympathy or a pat on the back. I would find that insulting to be perfectly honest.

    I find a small amount of amusement having discovered the online community of citizens who whine complain fear and loathe the world we live in today.

    I would venture to say that I deal with the youth much more hands on. no homo. than anyone else who posts here with the exception of active parents.

    Im a child of Vicksburg who raised himself with the help of family and friends. Times are different and pressure is different for children and teens today than ever before and in a much different way than that of the old south many of you may be more in tune with.

    The problem today is as it was before. As youth we are crabs in a barrel, trapped, stuck in a hole and Uncle Sam will break your hands before he sucks out your soul.

    Id like to a part of the discussion here and feel as if my perspective could honestly and maybe even harshly answer some of your questions regarding things. I also enjoy reading some of the knowledge bestowed here.

    I will state firmly that if im not to be accepted as an individual and for who i am here then i will make sure that everyone in this town and all my online friends abroad know that Vicksburgs “speaking voice” is arrogant and believes that the only voice acceptable is the one that the moderator of this website is in control of.

    Im a smart individual and have been following local politics in this town for over a decade. I know exactly who runs this site and exactly how to peacefully deal with censorship. I am also a respected voice in the younger community of this town and county and i think this site could benefit somewhat from the voicing of my opinions as much as it can the rest of you lot.

    I look forward to joining in the discussions of the city i love and am a part of. Please respect the fact that i am not the same as many of you. i may at times be abrasive but that has been the case of many of the people in this country that have and continue to make a difference especially with the young people.

  43. I see no reason why not to let this young man have a voice. I enjoyed reading what he just wrote and look forward to reading his perspective on Vicksburg.

  44. Well said, smokepotworshipsatan. Welcome to the board. I know there is much you can contribute toward a better understanding of our problems.

  45. SmokingPot continue to make your voice known. I encourage you too.

  46. SPWS I do wonder how you picked your name? Tell us more of it’s meaning and what it means to you.

  47. i dont smoke pot or worship satan. its meant to be tongue in cheek. i dont have time for drugs or organized religion.

    it was either that or smokecrackworshipbush. i think i chose wisely.

    sarcasm is a gift. i feel sorry for people who cant find simple joy in sarcasm.

    I blame Mad Magazine.

  48. I haven’t thought about Mad Magazine in over 30 years. Is it still in print?

  49. Yes its still in print and you can still read it online for free but you have to download a comic reader program so it displays right. My Granfather used to buy them for me from the Newsrack at the old Jitney Jungle here in town. I used to sit on a milkcrate at Lagrones filling station on the corner of washington street and read the mag while i drank choclate milk from Shipleys on lazy summer days as a child. Good memories.

  50. I used to read Mad Magazine myself. U know you don’t see much around the mag stands these days at all.

  51. I enjoyed that kids smiling face and freckles. Seems like he was even in disguise each month.

  52. Alfred E Neuman was the freckled kid. Sylvester P Smythe was the blonde kid from cracked Magazine.

    Malcolm and i trade back issues.

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