Loveland offers incentives for IMAX theater

LOVELAND — The city of Loveland will offer a $250,000 incentive to Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which does business in Loveland as Metrolux Theatres, to build and install an IMAX theater at its location in the Promenade Shops.

The city council voted 7-2 on first reading Tuesday night to provide Metrolux with a $200,000 cash incentive and up to $50,000 in waivers of building permit fees and construction use taxes. Metrolux would be required to pay back some or all of the incentive if the theater were to close down in four or fewer years.

Kelly Jones, economic development director for the city, said market studies suggest that the theater will bring in 65,000 new attendees to view movies in the community and that those attendees will spend money at other businesses in the area while visiting the city.

As such, the draw of the theater fits with the council’s strategy to increase tourism visitation and spending.

“It’s one piece of the tourism puzzle,” said councilwoman Kathy Wright.

“This fits with our tourism strategy,” said councilman Don Overcash.

While acknowledging that the IMAX theater — a large-format, large-screen theater designed to bring the audience closer to the action — would likely draw customers from outside the immediate region, Mayor Jackie Marsh, one of the two votes against the plan, said that the city will see very little monetary gain because the sales tax in the Centerra area is lower than in the rest of the community. She asked that David Corwin, president of Metropolitan Theatres based in California, return with ideas for how the city might get a greater return on its investment. She suggested that the theater provide advertising on its screens for city amenities and that local contractors be used for the work.

Corwin and Jones outlined the plan, which includes converting two existing theaters at the Metrolux 14 to an IMAX. The project cost would be about $3.5 million, with the theater’s landlord offering some tenant finish assistance.

Four city residents called into the meeting or emailed objections to the proposal, saying that the incentive is either not necessary or a tax handout that won’t be directly recovered by theater operations.

Council members, however, voted to approve the proposal on first reading because it fits with their tourism strategy and because, as some suggested, it offers something for young families and young people to do.

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LOVELAND — The city of Loveland will offer a $250,000 incentive to Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which does business in Loveland as Metrolux Theatres, to build and install an IMAX theater at its location in the Promenade Shops.

The city council voted 7-2 on first reading Tuesday night to provide Metrolux with a $200,000 cash incentive and up to $50,000 in waivers of building permit fees and construction use taxes. Metrolux would be required to pay back some or all of the incentive if the theater were to close down in four or fewer years.

Kelly Jones, economic development director for the city, said market studies suggest that the theater will bring in 65,000 new attendees to view movies in the community and that those attendees will spend money at other businesses in the area while visiting the city.

As such, the draw of the theater fits with the council’s strategy to increase tourism visitation and spending.

“It’s one piece of the tourism puzzle,” said councilwoman Kathy Wright.

“This fits with our tourism strategy,” said councilman Don Overcash.

While acknowledging that the IMAX theater — a large-format, large-screen theater designed to bring the audience closer to the action — would likely draw customers from outside the immediate region, Mayor Jackie Marsh, one of the two votes against the plan, said that the city will see very little monetary gain because the sales tax in the Centerra area is lower than in the rest of the community. She asked that David Corwin, president of Metropolitan Theatres based in…