Mounting financial pressure prompted hotel to issue Princess vacate notice
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 6:22PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 22, 2019 12:09PM EDT
The Original Princess Cinema will be closing its doors before the start of the summer.
After 34 years, the news emerged Tuesday.
John Tutt, the cinema’s owner, calls it a loss to the arts and cultural fabric of Waterloo Region.
He says the theatre will host some farewell screenings through the month of May. It’s set to close at the beginning of June.
General manager Joel Brubacher says they're leaving because someone else named a higher price.
“The Original is closing because it sounds like they have someone that gave an offer to pay a lot more rent that has a big idea to renovate,” he explains. “We’re not prepared to pay twice as much in rent.”
Brubacher says he has mixed feelings about the closure. He’s gone to the cinema since high school, working there as a night manager more than a decade ago.
He acknowledges that there were renovations needed at the Original Princess Cinema and that it was “ripe” for a major renovation.
“The Princess was not given a chance to negotiate a new lease,” the cinema says in a press release. “With less than 2 months to vacate the premises, the Princess is faced with the daunting task of emptying the venue.”
Tutt also acknowledged that the Huether Hotel may have had its hands tied.
“It’s a business decision that they’ve had to make,” Tutt says.
Kelly Adlys is the manager of the hotel.
He says that building costs out of the business' control played a major part in the decision.
“Our insurance went up by 30 per cent for the building, our taxes went up close to $25,000, so obviously everything goes up,” he explained.
He says the hotel can’t absorb those costs on its own on top of needed renovations in the hotel.
Both agree that they've enjoyed a positive relationship over the years, and both say they're willing to come to the table to negotiate.
Not all is lost for the theatre if no resolution can be found. Brubacher says they’re going to begin trying to integrate more creative programming at the Princess Twin as a result, since the two are programmed differently.
“It feels like there's not really a big worry about, 'what are we going to do?' It's sort of like, we're just going to keep going forward with what we have here,” he says.
In a tweet, the Princess indicated that the theatre will be turned into a virtual reality space, but Adlys says that no deal has been signed.