SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE:
At its February 27, 2017 meeting, the Sparks City Council agreed to provide up to $1.5 million to renovate the Victorian Square theater into a luxury theater operated by Galaxy. The theater company expects it to be open for business before the end of the year.
CITY OF SPARKS STATEMENT:
The Sparks City Council approved an agreement with Syufy Enterprises, the owner of the Victorian Square Cinema building, to provide up to $1,500,000 in lodging tax proceeds for the renovation and re-opening of the Victorian Square Cinema Property. Based on discussions between Syufy and Galaxy Theatres, the agreement will allow Galaxy Theatres to undertake a major renovation of the theatre with a re-opening later this summer.
“We are thrilled that Galaxy will have a second location in Sparks,” said Sparks Mayor Geno Martini. “The Sparks IMAX Luxury Theatre at the Outlets at Legends has been an overwhelming success for our City. We can’t wait to see the benefits Galaxy will bring to the Victorian Square Cinema as well,” he said.
The approved agreement calls for the City to provide $1,000,000 in lodging tax proceeds upon the opening of all 14 auditoriums in the theatre. The City will provide $100,000 per year for five years as long as the theatre remains open to the public. Prior to the initial payment, Syufy Enterprises will provide the City a memorandum of lease between Syufy Enterprises and Galaxy Theatres for the Victorian Square cinema property for an initial lease term of at least 10 years.
The terms for the provision of financial assistance to the cinema project calls for Syufy and Galaxy to collectively invest at least $6,100,000, while the City would contribute $1,500,000 from lodging taxes. Funding does not come from the City’s general fund. Lodging tax proceeds is derived from a 2.5 percent tax on the gross receipts from transient lodging (hotel rooms) in the City of Sparks. The lodging tax is paid to the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority which distributes the proceeds to the City Council of Sparks and can only be used for capital improvements at Victorian Square, the City’s redevelopment area one.
For nearly five months, the Century 14 Theater in Victorian Square has been empty and locked up. But now, a new tenant wants to move in.
Galaxy Theatres is interested in leasing and turning the property, which is owned by Syufy Enterprises, into one of its luxury theaters, similar to the one at the Outlets at Sparks. However, getting that deal done would take some help from the City of Sparks.
Monday, Sparks City Council members will vote on whether to approve an agreement that would allow the city to provide Syufy Enterprises with up to $1.5 million to help renovate the theater. The money would not come from the general fund, but from a portion of lodging taxes, paid for by visitors.
"So we'll use that money which can only be used for capital improvement projects and tourism-related projects specific to redevelopment in Victorian Square," says Adam Mayberry, spokesperson for the City of Sparks.
The Century 14 theater abruptly shut down in September 2016 after 19 years of operation when Cinemark executives decided not to renew the building lease when it ended. Mayberry says when the theater closed, it affected nearby businesses that relied on the movie crowds. Now, there's hope those crowds could come back if the theater does.
"This is a real incredible opportunity for us to see that theater reopen," says Mayberry.
Theaters operated by Galaxy Theatres typically have large, reclining seats, wall-to-wall screens, and spacious lobbies that offer the sales of beer and wine. If this deal goes through, Galaxy could start showing movies in the renovated theater in Victorian Square by the end of the summer.