A Woodbury-based business that is responsible for revitalizing one of South Minneapolis’ most beloved theaters has been identified by a regional business publication and via public records as the group that purchased the CineMagic Theater in St. Michael last month.
“Finance and Commerce” of Minneapolis lists the buyers as Cinemasota, Inc., a six-year-old corporation based in Woodbury with properties in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Cinemasota has earned praise for its efforts to breathe new life into the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis, which was rated by City Pages recently rated it as one of the city’s best. Riverview runs high-grossing first-run movies that are on extended release (such as the Academy Award-winning “American Hustle,”), but also brings classics back to life via the big screen.
However, the broker on the deal to sell the theater, Wayne Elam of CRS, told “Finance and Commerce” the group intends to lease or sell the building, or at least part of it, and is “leaving all options open” at this time for the property.
Cinemasota got the property for quite a steal by most real estate pundits’ calls. The original theater was developed for about $8 million, and was on the block for $4 to 5 million after Midwest Theater Corporation filed for bankruptcy in 2010. That price dropped in latter years, and the spot was listed for just $2.95 million most recently. Cinemasota scooped it up for less than that, paying $1.75 million in cash for the property.
St. Michael Community Development Director Marc Weigle said he was happy to finally see a sale after United Bankers of Minneapolis had held the property for the last three and a half years, but hopes it’s not just a turn-around.
“You’d like to see something happen there,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question some movement there would help other properties in that area,” such as the commercial pads near Kwik Trip.
“That continues to be a busy spot for them, it’s one of their top 10 stores,” he said. “Having someone move on that other side would prompt something, we would think.”