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Help save the Paramount Theatre from the wrecking ball
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Drumwaiter
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BRIANG wrote:
lemon2bell wrote:
I will out rightly be skeptical... it is a bit naive to think you will generate 900K in revenue by year 3 and that this will not negatively impact the imperial theater but positively grow the "scene" therefore increasing the size of the pie... best sharpen the pencil and consult the cities growth strategy to see how on the ball they are


Based on the projections by then they will be hosting a show every 2 days that can generate $5,000 each in ticket revenue. That would be a lot of new entertainment......


Oh good, so it wasn't just me then. I think that anyone in the area that has had the fortune (or misfortune) of running an entertainment venue can attest that it seems rather ambitious of a business plan. Unless they have some kind of secret plan on how they will spontaneously make people give them all that revenue... In which case I hope that secret is included in the full business plan (that I presume is more than 2 pages long.)
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u1176



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So uptown Saint John bought a business plan from Growth Strategies.
I spent over a year once working on a business plan with a partner, the shear amount of research alone almost killed us, not to mention the constant editing and peer reviewing.
If I had known one could just buy one...........................
I'd like to see how little of this would pass the pasta on the wall test in a loan officer's office.
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Drumwaiter
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

u1176 wrote:
I'd like to see how little of this would pass the pasta on the wall test in a loan officer's office.

It's really simple, it wouldn't pass at all.

Quote:
The Paramount expects to raise approximately
$2,625,000 from a combination of capital campaigns, and securing grants and/or forgivable loans from Government of Canada and/or the Province of New Brunswick. The Paramount intends to borrow the remaining $875,000.

They are expecting the bulk of this to be given to them by the government, because they know that it would be impossible to pass this by a bank. I just think they overestimate the governments desire to throw money away to people that clearly don't have a grasp on the fiscal reality of the situation.

Quote:
Based on achieving the financial and operational objectives outlined in the business plan, The Paramount is expected to break even (before depreciation expenses) and be cash flow positive by the end of the second year of operation.

The problem is that even if 3.6M fell from the sky tomorrow and they didn't owe anyone a cent for it, I really doubt they would still be able to keep up with the expenses, let alone be "cash flow postive" by the end of the second year. This of course is if I even believe that figure of 3.6M... Which I really don't.

That being said, this is all conjecture on my part. If someone can find me a copy of the actual business plan though, I'll let you know if I still support it.

I love the idea of it, but I don't like reality of it.
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PBiz
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see 3.6M being enough to buy and retrofit/renovate that place. Some people buy homes that are in better condition and they're looking at an extra $100K just to have what they want/need. If a house is, oh, 1/8 the size of the theatre, we can say sure, $800K to get 'er up to par?

NO. FUCKING. CHANCE. that $800K is going to bring that place around.
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songles
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tear it down and build literally anything but a parking lot. It's not like its a nice building. It's gross. Who cares that we all saw movies there? Rip it down and put in some retail with some office space overhead. Just don't make it place where people pay to put their cars. That's the one stupid thing you could do.
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Drumwaiter
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

songles wrote:
Just tear it down and build literally anything but a parking lot. It's not like its a nice building. It's gross. Who cares that we all saw movies there? Rip it down and put in some retail with some office space overhead. Just don't make it place where people pay to put their cars. That's the one stupid thing you could do.


Quit being so sensible.

So here's a question.... What happens to everyone's donations if this thing falls through? Where does the money go?
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PBiz
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drumwaiter wrote:

So here's a question.... What happens to everyone's donations if this thing falls through? Where does the money go?


You get the equal amount back in parking tokens.
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice piece from the Hemmings House crew:

http://vimeo.com/31338956
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brufrog
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that is brilliant.
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songles
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He makes a strong presentation of the history factor. But I doubt there's a "strong strong" business case for the plan he's pushing. I admit, if he pulls it off it'll be awesome. But I'm pretty cynical about these types of ventures in SJ. I still don't think the economic climate is right for this kind of space at this moment.
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Drumwaiter
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

songles wrote:
He makes a strong presentation of the history factor. But I doubt there's a "strong strong" business case for the plan he's pushing. I admit, if he pulls it off it'll be awesome. But I'm pretty cynical about these types of ventures in SJ. I still don't think the economic climate is right for this kind of space at this moment.


Pretty much my thoughts exactly... I think it would be great if it gets worked out, I just don't think the financial stats are even remotely in the ballpark.
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smokin2neil



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep.. i liked the presentation a lot, really well done, but i still think that the imperial was already saved, and it is truly amazing in there, but it is not full every night.. And the business sense of the people when it comes to revenue from concessions is unspeakable. There is much that could be done to improve what already exists in that area rather than to create another building that will constantly need to be saved, another burden to the shrinking taxpayer base.

I don't think opening another Venue across the street from Massey Hall would be a benefit to Massey Hall, the logic of that type of thinking is all over Saint John though, people confuse being tirelessly hopeful with being practical. Many businesses fail here because someone sees someone else making a dollar and they rush in to "grow" the market. That is obviously not the intention in this case but a really good study on what would happen to the Imperial would probably turn up some seriously negative results.
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brufrog
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree about Imp Theatre. Concessions could make $$$ if managed like the ones in stratford or shaw festivals. How aboyt a decent glass of wine and beer that appeals to artsies?

Also skeptical about projections for Paramount, altho obv i want more good live music and theatre venues. Those #'s, frankly, are nuts.

What this city really needs is:
A) licensed wine and beer purveyor in the city market featuring only NB products so we can enjoy a pint or glass with lunch, like any normal city would have
B) a beerquarium on the waterfront, and
C) a couple more dependable live music venues of the needed size* that supports the local scene but is also nice inside and has good local beer on tap

* just what that is I'm not sure
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songles
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but I really think what the City needs to do first and foremost is come up with a long-term plan that focuses on improving the economic fundamentals in a small but critical area of the uptown core. That plan should promote well integrated, high density residential and retail investment. If you can pin that shit down, I think stuff like beerquariums and venues will just naturally follow. You need to get people living their day-time lives uptown, buying all their groceries and home supplies up there and getting around on foot in front of sidewalk-level store fronts. You can accomplish these goals by coming up with more creative ad flexible zoning policies and giving tax breaks (WHAT!) to real estate developers who are willing to stick their necks out in the creation of new kinds of neighbourhoods ('cause someone needs to be a vsionary/pioneer here).

Keep in mind you personally don't have to buy into this lifestyle, but the more people that do means the more efficiently the city will be able to distribute and leverage economic resources. It's better for all taxpayers if a more of them are living urban lifestyles.
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

songles wrote:
I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but I really think what the City needs to do first and foremost is come up with a long-term plan that focuses on improving the economic fundamentals in a small but critical area of the uptown core. That plan should promote well integrated, high density residential and retail investment. If you can pin that shit down, I think stuff like beerquariums and venues will just naturally follow. You need to get people living their day-time lives uptown, buying all their groceries and home supplies up there and getting around on foot in front of sidewalk-level store fronts. You can accomplish these goals by coming up with more creative ad flexible zoning policies and giving tax breaks (WHAT!) to real estate developers who are willing to stick their necks out in the creation of new kinds of neighbourhoods ('cause someone needs to be a vsionary/pioneer here).

Keep in mind you personally don't have to buy into this lifestyle, but the more people that do means the more efficiently the city will be able to distribute and leverage economic resources. It's better for all taxpayers if a more of them are living urban lifestyles.



The new Plan SJ is supposed to point city development in the direction you are talking about. I agree that incentives are probably required to really get it going although their are some very good development examples at Abbey St. Andrew and Three Sisters condos.

You can learn more about Plan SJ here: http://www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/cityservices/developmentgrowth/communityplanning/plansj/default.aspx
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songles
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

countdownhype wrote:
The new Plan SJ is supposed to point city development in the direction you are talking about. I agree that incentives are probably required to really get it going although their are some very good development examples at Abbey St. Andrew and Three Sisters condos.

You can learn more about Plan SJ here: http://www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/cityservices/developmentgrowth/communityplanning/plansj/default.aspx

Holy shit. I'll shut up now. Good job.
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight's the night!...good article in the TJ:

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/city/article/1456921
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songles
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's great to see the momentum building for this. I hope it succeeds.

In the meantime, here's more about how parking lots destroy neighbourhoods. If this Paramount thing fails, I think people should be prepared to parlay all that good social community energy into an anything-but-a-parking-lot campaign. I maintain that gaining a parking lot is a much worse potential development than losing the Paramount building, though both are bummers. It would be very encouraging to see young community leaders take up the flag of progressive, informed urban development. I think that taking control of what gets built and how stuff gets zoned is the ultimate way to empower ones own community.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Not gonna lie, I think this looks hideous. And I'm with Bell, it's right across the Square from the Imperial-- how will both ever do well? I fully support The Paramount project though and hope it works out, just somewhat apprehensive.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since it seems pretty clear to me that the Paramount will offer different types of entertainment & atmosphere than the Imperial, I fail to see how there is competition. That's like saying Harbour Station is bad for the Imperial or vice versa.
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Shoot the Band



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellymaraschino wrote:
Since it seems pretty clear to me that the Paramount will offer different types of entertainment & atmosphere than the Imperial, I fail to see how there is competition. That's like saying Harbour Station is bad for the Imperial or vice versa.


It's a balancing act. On some nights, Harbour Station is bad for the Imperial and vice versa. At other times, they compliment each other and as a whole make Saint John a better place for entertainment. But there's limited entertainment dollars.

And this plan, while it may be different, it's a lot closer to the same thing as the Imperial than HS.

I'd love to see this work. But like Wilkins, I'm pretty apprehensive about their whole plan. I don't want city and province tax holders left holding the bag at some point on a plan that was never feasible.

From what I understand, the plan is based on the fact that spending on entertainment, on average, is about 13% lower here than elsewhere. The thought seems to be that with more options there will be more spending. That's basically how they justify saying it won't take from others. But I'm not convinced lack of options is the reason, or even a major factor, in less spending on art and entertainment in this region. I'd like to know more about that research.

I'd go to the event tonight, but I'm doing Whisky festival in Fredericton. Limited time is also a factor when you have a pretty static population base and a lot of options.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://drafthouse.com/

Problem solved.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jabroni wrote:
http://drafthouse.com/

Problem solved.


You're a brilliant man, Dan Jones.
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kellymaraschino



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoot the Band wrote:
But I'm not convinced lack of options is the reason, or even a major factor, in less spending on art and entertainment in this region. I'd like to know more about that research.


Me too. I often times think in terms of myself and my friends who are for the most part, culture loving adults between 25-40 with a fair amount of disposable income. Are we representative of the city as a whole? Well, maybe not and therefore our spending habits likely aren't either. Personally, I don't think that alone is a reason to doubt the validity of this project. I think there is a certain amount of "if you build it they will come" in Saint John as there are a lot of sucessful examples where that was the case.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Drumwaiter
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellymaraschino wrote:
I think there is a certain amount of "if you build it they will come" in Saint John as there are a lot of sucessful examples where that was the case.


Fair enough... But will they come with the numbers projected in that busines plan is the question...
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellymaraschino wrote:
I think there is a certain amount of "if you build it they will come" in Saint John as there are a lot of sucessful examples where that was the case.


I genuinely hope so. If you told me 3 years ago that SJ would support the restaurant scene we have right now, I'd have laughed. The flipside to that, is that there have been so many places try to be a music venue and failed it's ludicrous. Admittedly, a lot of them have been pretty half-assed efforts from the get-go, but I don't think Elwoods was in the beginning. I don't think Blue Olive was either.

So, I won't pretend I can see what will work and what won't work in SJ.

But I'm skeptical, and I'd like to know more about the research.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoot the Band wrote:
kellymaraschino wrote:
I think there is a certain amount of "if you build it they will come" in Saint John as there are a lot of sucessful examples where that was the case.


I genuinely hope so. If you told me 3 years ago that SJ would support the restaurant scene we have right now, I'd have laughed. The flipside to that, is that there have been so many places try to be a music venue and failed it's ludicrous. Admittedly, a lot of them have been pretty half-assed efforts from the get-go, but I don't think Elwoods was in the beginning. I don't think Blue Olive was either.

So, I won't pretend I can see what will work and what won't work in SJ.

But I'm skeptical, and I'd like to know more about the research.


I think the problem with Elwoods was that fire and flooding is pretty detrimental to running a business, especially if you have nothing else bringing in money like food sales (which they could have kept up if the kitchen didn't burn down). Likewise, a huge building that has been derelict for years probably isn't going to have an easy time as we've all been saying.

The Blue Olive had a great run until they decided to change their business model in that space and Peppers seems to be doing a pretty darn good job in my opinion. It can work. But the Paramount and a bar are apples and oranges. The figures just don't make sense to me, but I'd like them to find a way.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone read anywhere that their intension is to get a liquor license? If not what is the source of their revenue?
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think perhaps folks are missing the point of this evening's event slightly...

As of this week, it seemed that there was about a 97% chance this building would be a parking lot, a 2% chance it would be an arts venue and a 1% chance it would be something else. Hopefully tonight can change those odds a bit.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a 100% chance I had to serve drunks.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jabroni wrote:
http://drafthouse.com/

Problem solved.


It would be awesome if they could turn it into something like that!
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Shoot the Band



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How was the event/turnout? I haven't heard anything.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shoot the Band wrote:
How was the event/turnout? I haven't heard anything.


I heard around 150 or so from some people that were there, but I don't know the official number.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

300 came. Really fun evening and the bands were excellent. Should be some photos to share soon. Some steps forward but still a long way to go. The situation is still very dire that the building will be gone soon.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie wrote:
Jabroni wrote:
http://drafthouse.com/

Problem solved.


It would be awesome if they could turn it into something like that!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hooligans wrote:
Eddie wrote:
Jabroni wrote:
http://drafthouse.com/

Problem solved.


It would be awesome if they could turn it into something like that!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs


Awesome!
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not looking good...barring a miracle, demolition will be coming soon...


BOARD BACKS AWAY FROM PARAMOUNT RESTORATION

KATE WALLACE - TELEGRAPH-JOURNAL -11 APR 2012

SAINT JOHN – Uptown Saint John Inc. will no longer lead Save the Paramount, a project to refit the vacant cinema.

On Thursday, its board voted to pull back from the $2.8-million project to turn the art-deco theatre into a multi-purpose performance venue. The organization has led the project since 2010.

“The board feels that this is a lot of work and a lot of staff time,” Peter Asimakos, general manager of Uptown Saint John, said Tuesday. “Although we feel that this is a very important project for the community, and specifically the King Square area and uptown, we feel that we’ve taken it as far as we can take it at this point, given the lack of funding opportunities at the higher levels of government.”

Paul Daeres, a Saint John businessman who owns Paul’s Demolition and Trucking Ltd. as well as a construction company and a number of other properties, bought the cinema in 2005. He intended to renovate the building for office space but could not secure tenants, he said. NB Liquor considered it as the site for a new store, but it was not set up for deliveries.

“I never thought it would be so difficult to find tenants,” Daeres said.

Over the last year and a half, a series of eleventh-hour stays in the form of short-term options have kept Daeres from proceeding with what he said is likely his only remaining move: raze and pave. If that happens, it will become Daeres’s second cinema-cum-parking lot on King Square. In 2000, he tore down the old Odeon Cinema on Charlotte Street after he could not find a tenant.

A lively grassroots campaign to save the theatre was spearheaded by filmmaker Michael McDonald, who started a Facebook campaign in 2009. While more than 5,000 people “liked” the page, funds were not as forthcoming.

A concert in November raised less than $10,000, which was used to pay the option on the building, which was about $2,700 a month, Asimakos said. Other donations of “less than a couple thousand dollars” will likely go toward a consultant’s bill of approximately $1,400.

“I think we’re at a wash situation in terms of money in, money out,” he said.

Now Uptown Saint John will take an advocacy role for the theatre project, Asimakos said. It would share its business plan and architectural renderings with any potential developers.

“We still want to see things happen in the King Square area,” he said. “So we’re still going to try to help out in any way possible for anyone who wants to take it on.”

No one has shown interest.

Meanwhile, Daeres is losing money on the property. He said it costs him $40,000 a year in expenses, about the same amount of revenue it would generate as a parking lot, he said.

“I’m out $300,000 sitting there waiting for somebody to grab it.”

He doesn’t want to tear it down, in part because demolition would cost $100,000, he said, but also because he said he’d like to see the building developed because he owns two adjacent properties.

But he’s “got no other” option, he said, and no other potential tenants.

“If somebody doesn’t show up at the last minute, put a red flag up and say, ‘Look, I’d like to rent it, or I want to buy it,’ I have no choice. I’d have to knock it down.”

He points to other vacancies, including the old Woolworths across the square.

“I’m here 44 years, and I’ve never seen that. There used to be department stores uptown and shoe stores and clothing stores. You name it, we had it,” he said.

“I want the building up, and I want development in the building. But how?”
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wilkins



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


-Stolen from facebook.
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countdownhype



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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting. Dramatic image.
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Cryptowen
Positive Pelé


Joined: 07 Jun 2008
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Location: Mtl

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When a beloved Saint John institution gets hit by a wrecking ball
the only thing that can save it

is a Shreking ball


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songles
Cliff Clavinesque


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
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Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cryptowen wins again.

Also, I admit that that image of with no Paramount is pretty unsettling. One gets the impression that Saint John is returning to the ocean.
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portcityadam



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
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Location: window shopping for new clothes

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

songles wrote:
One gets the impression that Saint John is returning to the ocean.


Ivan Court somewhat resembles a walrus, so SJ is well prepared for the oncoming devolution.

I hope I don't get sued for libel.
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kellymaraschino



Joined: 16 May 2005
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Location: palookaville

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

portcityadam wrote:
songles wrote:
One gets the impression that Saint John is returning to the ocean.


Ivan Court somewhat resembles a walrus, so SJ is well prepared for the oncoming devolution.

I hope I don't get sued for libel.


Goo goo g'joob



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pawlitics
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Drumwaiter
gros pamplemousse


Joined: 15 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is this going? I haven't heard much about it since the beginning of April. Are there any new developments?
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brufrog
I alos knwo wiine bar sthat hav ewine


Joined: 19 Apr 2005
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Location: at the pad, beer in sticky fingers

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is toast
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countdownhype



Joined: 24 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barring a miracle, I would say it is toast, although my guess is the building will sit there rotting for another decade or so.
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kellymaraschino



Joined: 16 May 2005
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Location: palookaville

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And we're toast.
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hooligans



Joined: 19 Apr 2005
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Location: 127.0.0.1

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kellymaraschino wrote:
And we're toast.


sad panda.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/demolition-begins-on-old-paramount-theatre-in-saint-john-1.1858899
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mikef



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 2279

PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's hoping that eventually something interesting or useful will take the place of that inevitable parking lot.

as an aside - is parking really that big of an issue uptown these days that building yet another lot is seen as a viable business? i can't say i've ever had trouble finding a place to park within a few blocks of the place i wanted to go when shopping or dining in the area. maybe it's an all-day parking kind of thing?
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