Normally, at least here in the United States, businesses like movie theaters are owned by private citizens (or companies).  Not in the case of a theater in the town of Pittsfield, Maine.

According to the KJ, the Town of Pittsfield is trying to sell a long closed theater located on the town's Main Street.

The theater had first opened in 1915 and, for many years, did well.  After going through several owners, it was sold to the town in 1977 for $24,000.  The town ran it successfully for several decades.  Slowly, however, the number of customers frequenting the theater diminished.  The last straw for the property was the pandemic which, in the spring of 2020, forced the closure of the theater.  It has not re-opened.

There have been several offers to buy the business, which if currently priced at $149,000.  But, all of these offers are way under the asking price.  Reportedly, the most recent offer was only $20,000.  Despite the fact the business needs a lot of work, the reason for the extremely low offer was reportedly NOT because of the amount of work that needs to be done to the theater.

The article explains:

PEEC was approached by Hammer Down Inc., a company owned by Michael and Tammy Smith, a couple originally from the area who recently moved back to town. The pair was looking for a passion project, Gray said, and offered $20,000 for the property, unbothered by the amount of work it needs.

Despite, the need for repairs, $149,000 is still a really low price for a business that could, if operated properly, make bank.  Why do we say it is cheap?  Other similar theaters in similar sized towns have been on the market for ten times that amount!

The article explains that there was also a plan in the works that would transition the ownership of the theater to a non-profit operation that would be operated by a local non-profit group.

If you want more details, reach out to the Town of Pittsfield.

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