By The Raleigh Telegram
CARY – One of the few locally owned and operated movie theaters in the Triangle says they will fight the proposed demolition of their building by their landlord, who may replace the cinema with a Harris Teeter supermarket. According to Kim Yaman of Galaxy Cinemas, which is located at 770 Cary Towne Boulevard, the building’s owners have filed to potentially destroy the Galaxy Cinema building to make way for a new Harris Teeter Supermarket.
Galaxy Cinemas is a locally owned theater that shows first run hits, but also shows Indian Bollywood films, foreign films, locally produced films, arthouse films, and even hosts free events such as the Academy Awards broadcasts and other unique showings that are rarely seen in corporate chain theaters. The theater is owned by local businessman Kirit Padia.
In a posting in a new Facebook group called “Save Galaxy Cinemas,” Yaman said that the owner of the property is the G.T.T. Corporation plans to demolish the building to make way for a redesigned shopping center.
A member and supporter of the Galaxy Cinemas Facebook group said that it would be tragic if the theater had to shut down.
“Galaxy Cinema is the one of the few bright cultural spots in Cary. I helped to open that theater in January 2005,” said Elena Everett. “It would be a real shame to let it go without a fight. It’s a real example of a locally owned business that developed a clientele and loyal following in the face of much better funded, non-local, multinational corporate mega-theaters who would NEVER show the kind of international or independent cinema that the Galaxy does.”
According to Kim Yaman of the theater, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, who visits the theater regularly, confirmed the plans by the landowner to raze the structures to make way for the Harris Teeter.
In the mayor’s blog, he commented on the proposal.
“I certainly enjoy patronizing Galaxy and it is one of my favorite things to do,” said Mayor Weinbrecht in his official blog. “Unfortunately, this is not a council decision. The owner of the property is proposing to put a Harris Teeter on that site with a new building. We know that because he submitted a site plan. Since this is not a change of use (commercial), he/they are in their rights. So the person(s) in control at this point is the owner of the property. I will copy the town manager’s office to see if there is any information they can provide.”
Supporters of the theater say they are trying to come up with some creative ways to possibly save the theater but aren’t sure of their options at this time. In the meantime, Yaman asks that people try to contact the building’s owner to comment or at least to show up at the theater to buy a movie ticket and support their fight to keep the local institution open.
“Cary doesn’t have to approve demolition plans, but if there are enough squeaky wheels they will find a way to delay, halt, or strongly encourage other options. SAVE THE GALAXY CINEMA!!” said Elena Everett in a post on the Save Galaxy Cinemas group.
Article Posted: Thursday, June 28th, 2012.
RELATED ARTICLE: January 2010: A Quick Visit To Locally Owned Galaxy Cinemas