BARBERTON: City Council members will discuss the future of Lake Cinemas 8 at their meeting Monday night, and a vote is expected.
The decision to find a new tenant for the theater came in mid-November, when Mayor Bill Judge put out a “request for proposed use” throughout Northeast Ohio to find new development ideas for the facility.
Current tenant Phil Canfora was the only applicant for the theater space.
In his application, Canfora said he offered to pay $1,500 a month — rather than the $2,000 he originally was supposed to pay — in a five-year lease. He also offered to pay off $98,000 he owes the city for various expenses over the past few years.
The application also said he would update the theater by installing digital reels, instead of the film he currently uses.
The cost to switch to digital reels ranges based on the price of each program. Canfora said the $530,000 program he preferred had an application deadline in September.
The next program is a $420,000 projector system with Sony, which Canfora applied for and could pay on a monthly basis of $6,000. The deadline to commit is in the next two weeks, and Canfora said he can’t go forward until he has a lease agreement with the city.
“We thought all those things are great offers,” Canfora said. “They met, and my position is we made an offer and they need to accept or decline it.”
Judge said a committee made up of members representing City Council, the Planning Commission, developers and residents created to address this issue made a recommendation last week for the theater, and they have sent the terms to Canfora’s attorney for review.
Canfora said he had ordered movies through the end of the contract, which was Monday.
He has been unable to pay the $2,000 monthly rent to the city for about three years, but said previously that former Mayor Bob Genet allowed him to show movies regardless.
City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Barberton Municipal Building, 576 W. Park Ave.