From: Owatonna, MN
Registered: Mar 2005
posted March 18, 2005 11:27 AM
I am on a committee that is searching for a way to save and restore the State Theater in downtown Owatonna, Minnesota. http://www.owatonna.org/prosper/mainstreet.php
The State Theater is an Art Deco building that opened as a movie theater in 1935. The interior included a 35' high ceiling, 4 distinct arches, Art Deco sconces, 1000 seats, plush curtains and a Vaudeville stage. Retail space exists on both sides of the main entry.
The building was "modernized" through two separate renovations during the 1970's and 1980's, dividing the auditorium into 3 theaters.
The theater closed in 1996 and has been vacant ever since. The restoration costs have been estimated at over $1.5M.
As part of our research, we visited Hutchinson, MN, a community that is committed to revitalizing their downtown: http://www.hutchinsoneda.com/edadowntown.htm
Interestingly, Hutchinson has a theater by the same name, approximately the same size, built during the same era, and (previously) in a similar state of disrepair as our own State Theater.
A unique investor came forward in their case, purchased the theater, and plans to open it later this year as a completely restored 2nd run movie theater. I say "unique" because the individual is a recently retired small business owner whose life-long dream has been to own and operate a movie theater.
Although development grants and low interest financing formed part of the investment package, the individual also put in a significant amount of personal equity. Although the ROI would probably never woo the typical investor, the business will provide enough cashflow to support this person in his "retirement".
The purpose of my posting is to see if anyone can provide ideas of where we might be able to locate a similar investor. If we can find a person with the passion and personal capital to do what is being done in Hutchinson, we can provide significant assistance in obtaining grants and low interest financing.
Please respond with any and all ideas you may have.
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