City offers $200,000 as incentive to lure new theater

posted by CSWalczak on September 27, 2010 at 4:39 am

PRINCETON, IN — Fearful that AMC will be closing the Princeton Theater, the city is offering $25,000 each year for eight years to Showplace Cinemas of Evansville to build a new theater on a former Kmart site. While acknowledging that the use of economic development tax funds for this purpose is controversial, the mayor feels that the investment is in the best interests of the community. If and when the Princeton does close, the mayor hopes to possibly convert it into an arts center. Currently a quad, the theater opened as a single screener in 1948.

Stilwell said if the theater isn’t successful in Princeton, the city won’t get any money back, but won’t be obligated to make future payments.

Councilman Jim Coomer asked about the prices of admission. It was estimated that they would be similar to Evansville for first run movies.

Hurst said he previously contacted Kerasotes Theaters, former owner of the existing Princeton Theater, about the need for improvements, but got no where. The downtown theater building is now owned by AMC, which Hurst said has been closing theaters in small communities like Princeton.

There is more in the Princeton Daily Clarion.

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