Historic Bellevue theater gets a new lease on life

BELLEVUE, KY (FOX19) - A historic movie theater in Bellevue is getting a new lease on life. The city of Bellevue has worked out a deal to buy the Marianne Theater.

The Marianne was built back in 1942 and was a favorite among local movie goers until it closed in 2000. In recent years, the city of Bellevue has taken a keen interest in seeing the theater resurrected.

Bellevue Mayor Ed Riehl says months of negotiations eventually paid off.

"We had ongoing discussions with Jack Eck the owner and we were able to come to an agreement," says Riehl.

The agreement calls for a sale price of about $138-thousand, which Riehl says is a worthwhile investment.

"We don't like to dip into those funds very often, but it's one thing that council and myself and the administration think when you do dip into those funds it should be worthwhile and it should be a worthwhile investment and we all felt it was a worthwhile investment in our community," says Riehl.

Joanna Maehren, owner of the Bellevue Beadery, says revitalizing the Marianne Theater is going to have a positive economic impact.

"A lot more vitality to Fairfield Avenue," she states. "It's already a vivacious place. It's a great place to shop, we get customers from everywhere - but this is key. The Marianne Theater is a huge deal for the shop owners on Fairfield Avenue."

Bellevue resident Jessica Miller says she couldn't be happier.

"We're so excited about it. Everybody loves the Marianne," says Miller. "It's just a wonderful piece of Bellevue history and so unique to the avenue and we are so excited to see it get a new life."

Once the sale is completed in the next few weeks the city will have a series of conversations with the community to determine the best way to use the theater while preserving its classic art deco style

The impending purchase of the Marianne Theater is making a big splash on Facebook, with city officials reporting hundreds of comments within hours of the deal being announced.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.