On December 3, the LaSalle Theater went to Sheriff's Sale. As a result of the foreclosure sale, the property is now in the hands of their lender. We are very excited and optimistic that this is the beginning of a new LaSalle Theater.
The lender has already contacted Northeast Shores to discuss our interest in the property. On the one hand, this building is a major architectural feature on East 185th Street. This property is a significant feature in this vital commercial district. On the other hand, the building has serious deferred maintenance that needs to be addressed. Also, a one-screen movie theater with no parking lot is a tough structure to rent.
So, Northeast Shores needs your advice! What do we do with the LaSalle Theater? We are asking specifically about the theater space. The rest of the building is obvious. Rehab the storefronts and rent them to good businesses. Rehab the upstairs apartments and rent them to great neighbors.
But, what do we do with the theater space? Please add your suggestions as comments to this blog! Please note that all the seats are removed. The floor is sloped. The stage has little depth, so using it as a performance stage is limited. And oh yeah, putting the seats back in, selling popcorn, and showing first-run movies is not an option! We have already spoken to several theater operators and one-screen theaters are considered obsolete dinosaurs. No one that can get access to first-run movies is interested in having the opportunity to show "I am Legend" at the LaSalle Theater tonight.
So, be creative! Actually, be really creative! We need a really good idea or that theater will continue to stay dark when it has the potential to be a real anchor for the street.