The Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex is a tangible symbol of the will to peaceful activism among east Austin youth. The project was born of blood, tears and the hope of peace. Late one evening in 1992, a group of teens was laughing and talking on 11th and Chicon, an east Austin street corner, when a passing car slowed and shots shattered the night. Sixteen-year-old Tamika Ross lay dead in the aftermath.
Soon after, a small group of concerned youth, lead by Jennifer Cole-Doyle and Michael Bryant, began meeting with then Council Member Charles Urdy to explore ways to reduce youth violence by providing wholesome entertainment alternatives. After a number of meetings, the entertainment complex was conceived as a fun, exciting and safe gathering place for Austin's young people. The project was guided by a City Council-appointed Advisory Board, one of whose members Juan Cotera, a fervent teen peace activist, was killed in 1996.
Eric Mitchell, the current Council Member, secured federal funding from HUD to build the 55,000 square foot indoor family entertainment center featuring a 154-seat movie theater, 16 bowling lanes, roller skating rink, video arcade area, children's soft play area, and food court. The complex is owned by the City of Austin and managed by ASM Global; and dedicated to Tamika and Juan, and the hope and spirit and promise of peace.
Originally named the Central City Entertainment Center this facility opened in June 1999.
Following a citywide contest, the facility was renamed the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex by Stephanie Pena, an East Austin resident. The Millennium was built on the former site of the Rosewood Shopping Center in East Austin as a safe place for East Austin youth to go. Support for the facility came first from a group of young people, and the Promise Keepers (community leaders and concerned citizens). In addition to serving as a great place for youth to skate, bowl, play video games, or have birthday parties, the Millennium also hosts special events, job fairs, private receptions, and movie festivals.
Rev. Frank Garrett
Saboor A. Hameed
Rev. Sterling Lands II
Btron C. Marshall
Min. Cedric Muhammad
Dr. Charles Urdy
Austin-Rosewood Community Development Corporation Board Members:
Dr. Deborah Taylor-King
Dr. Courtney Robinson
Board of Advisory Directors, Vanessa Silas, Greg Smith