With last week’s closure of the Galaxy Narrows Theater, could a new theater open at University Place’s nearby Town Center?
“It’s still a possibility, but I don’t want to say it’s a strong possibility,” said City Attorney Steve Victor, who has been involved in negotiations to land tenants at the mixed-use development on Bridgeport Way.
Victor said three theater chains have expressed interest in the Town Center property. One has been in contact with the city within the past month, he said, and another checked in late last year.
“They continue to assess the market,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Narrows’ closing on Thursday represents a financial hit to the city.
Finance director Eric Faison said the theater was the biggest generator of admissions tax for University Place. He said state revenue rules prohibit him from disclosing exactly how much it generated.
The city budgeted $210,000 in admission tax this year, but that lumps in other sources including the Chambers Bay Golf Course and cover charges to bars and lounges.
The city must account for the revenue loss in its budget, but it’s still early in the year, Faison said.
“We’ll make adjustments if we need to throughout the year administratively,” he said.
The theater closure leaves Tacoma and its immediate surrounding area without a mainstream movie house; Lakewood has two multiplex theaters.
UP officials would love to have a movie theater because it would serve as an anchor to help bring private development into Town Center. The city has invested more than $40 million in the development over the last decade to grow the city’s tax base, absorb future growth and provide residents a central gathering place.
Private developers are constructing a mixed-use building on one side of the civic and library building and are in negotiations to construct a second similar building on the other side. Both would feature ground-floor retail space.
The theater chains in contact with the city are interested in the lot that now holds University Place’s city offices and the lot on the corner of Bridgeport and 35th Street West, Victor said.
He said he doubts the closure of the Galaxy theater will boost momentum behind getting a multiplex in Town Center.Christian Hill: 253-274-7390 christian.hill@ thenewstribune.com @TNTchill