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Theater aims for re-opening

July 12, 2011
Kylie Saari - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Dan Blaalid has been working tirelessly over the past two weeks, wading through paperwork in a frantic attempt to get Fairmont's movie theater up and running again.

"We are trying to get the theater open by July 29," he said Monday.

While the documentation isn't official yet, Blaalid is wasting no time bringing the building up to his specifications.

Work is being done on the interior and exterior, including painting, cleaning and possibly upgrading the registers.

He said he plans to upgrade some of the other equipment next year.

Blaalid worked as manager of Fair Lakes Cinema Five under its former management company.

The former tenants were evicted from the property July 1 for not paying rent dating back to September 2010.

The move left Fairmont without a theater at the height of summer blockbuster season.

Blaalid had hoped to get the theater re-opened before this weekend's release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," the much-awaited final installment of the Harry Potter series.

News of trouble at the theater first emerged this spring, with an eviction noticed filed in Martin County. A settlement was reached in April between the former managing tenant and the building owner, Fairmont Cinemas Limited Partnership, which is based in Golden Valley.

However, a second eviction notice became public in late June. It detailed tens of thousands of dollars in missed rent payments. Rent at the theater was $8,333 per month.

The building had been leased by Theater Consulting and Management Company, part of Evergreen Entertainment of New Brighton.

The working relationship between landlord and tenant dated back to 1995, when Fairmont Cinemas Limited Partnership built the five-auditorium theater.

All the equipment inside the building - seats, carpet, draperies, screens, projection equipment and sound equipment - belonged to the tenant. However, the most recent eviction notice prevented the tenant from removing any items from the building.



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