Theatre remains in limbo

  • Feb. 22, 2011 6:00 p.m.

Nearly six months after the city leased the old Civic Theatre to a new operator, there’s still no word when it might re-open.

“We are still in negotiations with the partners to try and get the project back on track,” city manager Kevin Cormack says. “We hope to be able to announce something within the next few weeks.”

When Kirk Nielsen’s consortium took over the rebranded Nelson Cinemax in September, he closed for renovations that he anticipated would take two months. Later he said he hoped to be open by Christmas.

In mid-January, Nielsen said he still intended to operate the theatre and that a news release about the grand opening was forthcoming, but there has been no sign of it. Posts on the theatre’s Facebook site concerning the opening date have been removed.

According to Cormack, the lease does contain timelines: “If the terms are breached the city has the right to terminate.”

The theatre’s overhaul was expected to include new stadium-style seats, plus a new sound system, lobby, and washrooms. The old seats have already been removed.

Nielsen runs three other theatres in B.C.