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TOPIC: Would this single screen downtown be worth it?

Re:Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Apr 2011 04:19 #35845

  • rufusjack
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UPDATE!!!!

www.newspressnow.com/localnews/27549481/detail.html


Trail theater to get new owners

Bennett, Jennings plan to repurpose historic landmark
Jennifer Hall
St. Joseph News-Press
POSTED: 4:36 pm CDT April 14, 2011
UPDATED: 11:01 pm CDT April 14, 2011


An iconic building in St. Joseph has found new owners and a new purpose.
Local businessmen Winston Bennett and Kim Jennings plan to close on their purchase of the Trail Theater property today.
“We want to try to save it and repurpose it,” Mr. Bennett said.
The pair plans to begin an assessment on the building as soon as possible. Mr. Bennett said there was a lot of deferred maintenance and damage.

Mr. Bennett owns several other Downtown properties, including the Kirkpatrick Building and the Bad Art Bistro. Mr. Jennings owns Action Electric and also owns real estate in St. Joseph.
“It’s such a valuable piece of architecture for the community,” said Becky Boerkircher, president of the St. Joseph Downtown Partnership. “It is a huge asset to our community and I commend them for taking it on.”

But it is a huge undertaking.

The project could utilize a city tax abatement or work to amend the Downtown tax-increment financing, said Clint Thompson, the city’s planning and community development director.
“We’ll just have to see what (Mr. Bennett) proposes to do and which project would benefit the building best,” he said. The current Downtown TIF does not include the side street located near the theater.

“Obviously the city has an interest in that property being back in use,” Mr. Thompson said. “They just wanted to acquire the property so it wouldn’t just become another parking lot.”
Work has already begun at the old theater and it could be up and running as early as this fall. “It’s going to have to be completely redone on the inside,” Mr. Bennett said.

There are currently 411 seats, and the plan is to reduce that to around 250 to make room for a stage for live performances. The movie screen will be kept in order to offer shows.
“The whole idea is, it’s going to be a community resource,” Mr. Bennett said. “We’re going to try to make it a multi-use facility.”

COMMENTS

darkskies 1 week ago
3 cheers and a hip hip hooray!! I am so glad to hear that someone is going to salvage the theater
lithoguy and 13 more liked this Like Reply

not_edbears 1 week ago
I wish there was some way to get a theater to show classic movies like Lawrence of Arabia that us younger generation missed out on seeing at theater.
classyt and 6 more liked this Like Reply

Jeff Peak 1 week ago in reply to not_edbears
That's part of the reason why they're going to purchase a digital projector. To show older films like Lawrence of Arabia and the original Halloween.
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not_edbears 1 week ago in reply to Jeff Peak
I would dig that the most. Funny to see those two movies in the same sentence, both classics, but from such diverse categories. I would rather pay $9.00 to see either one than 99% of the garbage Hollywood puts out nowadays.
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Megan M Dilley 1 week ago
glad to see another building in St. Joe is not going to waste away
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jesuschristos 1 week ago
Very good to hear that they won't be parceling it out to other places.

I just hope they're able to play movies there. A nice projector and good sound would make it a bit special to go to outside of the overprice Hollywood Theater and the dirt-covered Plaza.
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Ben Velazquez 1 week ago
I would like to see it kept a movie theater. Except only show older movies and charge a dollar per person. No senior, or child discounts. Just $1 for everyone.
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geraldnoble 1 week ago
Thumbs up for the two business men saving this building. I like the idea of having live as well as movie abilities for future use. We need to commend those who save our older buildings and put them back in use.
classyt and 6 more liked this Like Reply

Uselogichuman 1 week ago
This made my day. Lets hope it pans out to be a live music venue and theater. This will be a great thing for downtown.....
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ckinstjoseph 1 week ago
This is great news for St. Joseph!
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Saint_Joe_Phatty 1 week ago
I give it 2 years before they default on the development. The same plan has been tried at Zona Rosa on two occassions, neither of them working, and that is with a customer base many times larger than St. Joseph.

While admirable that they are trying, at some point the reality of business must be considered.
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apmastrangelo 1 week ago
Actually chances for this project to be and remain successful are good.
Key to the approach is a concept of not using the facility for simply one purpose such as classic movies. Several locations have done the same thing with good long term results.
With appropriate followthrough this is a big plus to the city and for downtown.
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Saint_Joe_Phatty 1 week ago in reply to apmastrangelo
It didn't work so well in Zona Rosa. I'm just not sure there is a market for 20 year old movies, and yet another stage/meeting forum.
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apmastrangelo 1 week ago in reply to Saint_Joe_Phatty
Projects of the nature are not what you put your life savings into thinking it will make you a millionaire. It is more about preservation, community involvement, and with reasonable support and cooperation something that will pay its way and contribute to other venues that will turn the bigger profits.
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jesuschristos 1 week ago in reply to Saint_Joe_Phatty
Are you referring to the dinner move theater that failed after a few months at Zona Rosa? There was a reason that failed - it was a multiple-screen cineplex in direct competition with AMC across the street. They couldn't get good first-run movies, so it failed out of the gate.

This is completely different. It's one screen, small crowd theater most likely run by a small staff. It has no competition with Plaza 8 or Hollywood since neither shows anything beyond current movies and operas. And it also doubles as a stage theater. Fix this thing up and it will most likely succeed.

Your comparisons to Zona Rosa are daft, at best.
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sunny135 1 week ago
One less empty building in Joetown - YAY!
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falcon46 1 week ago
It's great Mr. Bennett and Mr. Jennings are wiling to make this type of investment, but let's also give a big hand to Jay Kerner, publisher of the Regular Joe. Jay helped bring htis concept forward, and used his connections to help make it happen. As the publisher of an alternative newspaper, he has come up with a lot of good ideas. Thanks, both to the investors and to Jay.
stjoesteve and 2 more liked this Like Reply

jdw64485 1 week ago
Will these local business men get the tax abatement? Or is that just for out of towners..
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Steve 1 week ago
Maybe it will become something like "Thje Blue Note" in Columbia.
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HARLEY33 1 week ago
As a recent transplant to the Dallas area I discovered a suburb called Grapevine, and the reason I chose it was, it has a downtown that reminds me of Weston and Parkville. One of the main draws is a 1940's era Movie theater that was saved. On the weekends they show older movies and have a small stage to host small live shows. I have been to the movies to see "Back to the Future", "Casablanca", and "A Christmas Story" when they ran the whole month of December with Christmas movies and shows. The movies cost $5.00 per person with $1.00 soda and popcorn! I know Kim Jennings and he knows the right people to make sure it is outfitted the correct way to show movies if he wishes. I applaud Kim and Mr. Bennet as will alot of people associated with the arts on the preservation of the Trail.
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Re:Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 04:27 #37086

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Soooooooooooo..... Hey there!!!



They bought this building in April, and wanted it running "as early as this fall"

Within the first week, They had a few stepladders into the lobby.

Since then.... NOTHING. It was supposed to be opening soon(now-ish) but again, NOTHING.


I Wish I won 5 mil a year ago..........................



There is ANOTHER old theater in town though!!! LOL

cinematreasures.org/theaters/13572
Last Edit: 27 Sep 2011 04:28 by Night Fury.
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Re:Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 05:50 #37087

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Ok, Buck ain't getting SHIT from Santa this Christmas, I have been naughty, naughty, NAUGHTYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!

I went by this place to see what they have done. It sold April 16, 2011. They said they'd have it open by this fall (now ish)

I peeked inside the windows. Not much had been done. So I start to write a note telling them something like "Hey! I love this place! If you need help, let me know!" And go to stick it in the door jamb..... and... the... door... was... unlocked...........................

Pics soon!
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 08:41 #37088

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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 08:42 #37089

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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 08:44 #37090

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,,,
























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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 19:17 #37098

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Nice pictures!

I guess you would call thus a fixer upper and an expensive hobby.
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 20:08 #37099

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did not look like it had a sloped floor?
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 20:53 #37102

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BIG BUCKS TO DO THIS CORRECTLY..
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 21:19 #37104

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It did, albeit gentle.
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 27 Sep 2011 21:24 #37105

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I agree it needs a lot of work. In my mind though I was picturing the proj. booth and stairs caving in, etc. That's how I was told it was, but it's not nearly that bad.

Again, if I won 1+ million in a lottery or something, I would be ALL OVER THIS PLACE. It's so cool.
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Re:Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 28 Sep 2011 17:25 #37114

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I was talking to a friend who is a realtor, he stays clear away from theatre sales. If your in the business already you have a shot of surviving with the conversion to digitial.
But if your new and just coming in with the purchase of a 35mm twin,single etc.. lets say your doomed. Unless you just won the lotto and doing this as a hobby!
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Re:Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 28 Sep 2011 20:14 #37117

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That's the only way I'd be able to afford it anyways, LOL!
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 28 Sep 2011 20:55 #37118

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What the lobby looks like TODAY
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Re: Would this single screen downtown be worth it? 09 Jul 2012 07:23 #38819

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Very minor update. This place sold in April 2011. In the first couple of weeks they did a bit of demo, then nothing up until the last couple of weeks. They did just a bit more demo, took the poster cases out. Also, about 10-12 vitrolite tiles have fallen/been removed, there were only 3 missing when it sold.


Poor place, I still wish I had a couple mil to scoop this place up and turn it around.
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