Sparks Century Theatre was a centerpiece at Victorian Square
A Sparks landmark has closed its doors.
The owners of the Century 14 Theatre announced last week that it would run its last movie on Sept. 29. With its art-deco entry façade, the theater has been a centerpiece at Victorian Square for 19 years.
Cinemark USA chose not to renew its lease with building owner Syufy Enterprises, which owned the Century brand before Cinemark purchased it in 2006.
Closing the theater was a business decision on the part of Cinemark, said Adam Mayberry, community relations manager for the City of Sparks, based on a decline in revenue since the opening of the Galaxy Sparks IMAX Luxury Theatre.
Mayberry noted that city officials have been aware for a few months that Cinemark was considering pulling out of Sparks, but were hopeful a deal could be reached to keep the business open. Now, discussions are focusing on finding a new occupant.
“It’s really our hope that Syufy will find another theater to open on the site,” Mayberry said.
Cinemark owns three other theaters in Reno: Century Park Lane 16, Century Riverside 12, and Century Summit Sierra.
The Sparks theater in particular has lost business to the Galaxy, which opened in 2014 at the Outlet at Sparks, and feaures reclining seats and gourmet foods.
Cinemark’s action comes just as new apartment developments are beginning to open in Victorian Square bringing an influx of potential theater goers.
In August, tenants began moving into the first of 10 buildings and 236-units in Silverwing Development’s Fountainhouse apartment complex, to the west of the theater. On the east side in August, the 100-unit Square 1 apartments, developed by GreenStreet Communities and LandCap Investment Partners, opened its doors.
More apartments within a short walk of the theater are in various stages of planning.
The future of the theater building is important to the future of Victorian Square, which is also the site major special events in the area such as the Nugget Rib Cookoff.
“There has been a variety of options pursued on the theater,” J. Carter Witt, owner of Silverwing Development, said in an email response to questions.
Witt said he has met with Syufy officials at the site and they like the development that is occurring in the area.
“They are working toward renovating the theater and (being) reopened by next summer,” he said.
Witt said he expects Syufy officials to have a plan to the city in the next 30-60 days.
“In anticipation of that, we are proceeding with our planning for the buildings on either side of the theater and hope to start them by March so that by summer we will not be working exteriors (only on interior construction) so the entry will be clear and not impede any patrons of the theater.”
Whatever happens to the theater, developers and city officials expect the Victorian Square renaissance to continue.
“We’re committed to continue to redevelop and keep Victorian Square as a hub of special events,” Mayberry said. “This is a step backward. Hopefully it will turn around.”
Representatives for Cinemark and Syufy could not be reached by deadline for comment.
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