New home for
Main Art Theater still in the works

By Beth Garcia
C & G Staff Writer

ROYAL OAK — The CEO of Landmark Theaters says fans of the Main Art Theater in downtown Royal Oak should not worry about rumored closures of the beloved indie and art film theater.

“We have no plans to close the Main Art Theater in Royal Oak,” Bill Banowsky said in a statement released Sept. 8.

Concerns about the future of the theater, located at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Main Street, were raised in recent years when the property it currently sits on was purchased by Chicago developer Joseph Freed and Associates. Within the last year, development on a $120 million loft and retail site have threatened the home of the theater. The third building, a 12-story tower, will be raised on the current site of the art theater within the next few years.

Within the last year, talks between the city, Joseph Freed and Landmark theaters have focused on finding a new site for the Main Art Theater. However, these talks haven’t produced any results.

According to Kris Gosselin, of Joseph Freed, a decision has not been reached concerning the theater.

“The Main Art Theater is looking to upgrade their facilities anyway. So we are actively looking to find a new site or facility for the theater. Hopefully, though, that site is still the Main North Lofts,” Gosselin said.

However, Gosselin said no agreement has been made with Landmark Theaters. Construction on the Main North Lofts third and final building is expected to begin in 2008, she said.

Despite concrete plans for the location of the Main Art Theater, Banowsky reassures residents that the theater will remain in Royal Oak.

“We are most grateful to this community for supporting art and independent film at this theater, and intend to continue to serve the residents here with the highest quality entertainment experience,” he said.

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