by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — The manager of the new movie theater currently being built in Logansport and city officials are saying the theater’s opening is being moved to August because of construction schedules and equipment that won’t be available until late July.
Construction on the 16,000-square-foot Mary Max Cinemas Logansport 5 began this winter between High Street and Lexington Road. The project will cost about $4 million, about $225,000 of which will come from one of the city’s tax increment financing funds.
The theater was expected to open this summer, but construction and equipment availability are forcing the opening to be pushed back to the end of August.
“Construction has gone slower than anticipated,” said Richard Diffenbach, general manager of the theater.
At the Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Wednesday, Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine said he is awaiting a completion schedule from the contractors.
“They’re not moving at the greatest speed in my opinion,” he said.
Diffenbach went on to say about 15 different subcontractors are currently working on the building in the areas of plumbing, electrical, drywall and painting.
Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin, who chairs the board, said he has visited with those involved in the project and that another part of the delay is “yet another update on seating.”
“They need to order new equipment that can’t be ordered until the end of July,” Franklin said.
Diffenbach said the seats will go up to a person’s head, recline and lock in place.
A similar model of what kind of seating the theater will have will be on display at the theater’s booth at the Cass County 4-H Fair, Diffenbach said, along with a raffle for free movie passes.
Diffenbach added employee training will occur a few days before the theater’s opening. During this time, he said the theater will also be screening films from last year and earlier this year for discounted prices to “show off the theater.”
“People can get in for a very nominal donation,” part of which Diffenbach said will be going to various local charities.
The city has agreed to fund part of the project through $225,000 from a tax increment financing fund, which required a $25,000 bond.
Bob Bishop, president of the Logansport Redevelopment Commission, which oversees the city’s tax increment financing funds, said the city will transfer the funds once the project is completed.
“The delays haven’t cost us anything because they don’t get any money until it’s open,” Bishop said. “It’s a positive thing. I really appreciate the developer wanting to use the latest and greatest and I believe what we’ll end up with will attract people from miles around.”
Diffenbach addressed the delays the project has had as well.
“As frustrated as some people may be that we’re not open now, I’m more frustrated,” he said. “We got a fantastic facility that we’re very excited to bring to the community and I can’t wait to show it off.”
Diffenbach also said residents can keep up with the project at the theater’s website, marymaxcinemas.com, and Facebook page, under the name Mary Max Cinemas Logansport 5.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.