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Published: Friday, 9/10/2010

Showcase Cinemas to be demolished

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Owner National Amusements Inc. is marketing both the 3500 Secor Rd. theater, which closed in 2005, and Super Cinemas at 1301 East Mall Rd. in Springfield Township, shuttered since 2008, the company told The Blade Thursday.

National Amusements is not marketing the former Franklin Park Cinemas at 5235 Monroe St., which closed in 2005, the company said in a statement, without elaborating on whether it planned to redevelop the property itself.

Meanwhile, there has been some interest in the Toledo area's fourth vacant theater - Cinema De Lux, 1360 Conant St., Maumee - which owner Rave Motion Pictures is marketing for reuse, commercial real estate and city officials said.

There has been some interest in buying the Cinema DeLux site in Maumee. It closed this summer. There has been some interest in buying the Cinema DeLux site in Maumee. It closed this summer.
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No one from Rave Motion Pictures returned calls seeking comment Thursday about the 18-screen theater, which closed in July. It had been open less than 13 years.

There has been some speculation that a school could reuse the Cinema De Lux building, and some colleges previously have looked at Super Cinemas, real estate and township officials said.

Last year, Key Hotel and Property Management Inc. sought approval from the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission to build two 110-room hotels and a retail development on the Showcase Cinemas Toledo property. The plan, which called for demolishing the theater, was withdrawn in October.

Selling or redeveloping the former theaters will be tough, even for those in prime locations, as the local commercial real estate market continues to be in the doldrums, said Marty Gallagher, a commercial real estate agent with CB Richard Ellis/Reichle Klein in Toledo. "They're just very specialized, special-use buildings," he said.

Rave is less likely to redevelop its vacant Toledo area theater on its own than National Amusements, Mr. Gallagher said.

Retail specialist and commercial real estate agent Steve Serchuk with the Toledo office of Signature Associates, who is marketing Showcase Cinemas Toledo and Super Cinemas, said National Amusements plans to redevelop the property on which Franklin Park Cinemas stands.

In 2007, real estate experts had said National Amusements was planning to redevelop the Franklin Park Cinemas site for a restaurant, store, or gourmet market. National Amusements had declined to comment.

Said Mr. Gallagher: "Right now, there's not a lot of redeveloping to do in Toledo, so that could be another reason why they're still there."

Leslie Kohli, Springfield Township administrator, said Dave & Buster's restaurant and other retailers are among other potential buyers who have looked at Super Cinemas, which is highly visible from U.S. 23/I-475.

The building, however, has thick walls for sound proofing that are weight-bearing, so it is difficult to tear them down for renovations, she said.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:

jmckinnon@theblade.com

or 419-724-6087.



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