Three weeks ago, AMC Entertainment Inc. sent word that 15 years after it revolutionized the big-screen business with the 4,960-seat Grand 24 off Stemmons Freeway and W. Northwest Highway, it was leaving the building. Reason: rent dispute with its Kansas City-based landlord Entertainment Properties Trust. One week after that, EPT's head of investor relations told Unfair Park that the Grand remains a viable location and that the company has every intention of finding a new theater operator. Said John Weis, hey, no biggie: "Tenants come and go."
Now, EPT is insisting it has, in fact, found a new tenant. It doesn't name names. It doesn't offer specifics. It doesn't say much, actually -- this new development was, in fact, buried within a news release late yesterday concerning EPT's acquisition of 12 theaters in Colorado, California, Indiana and Texas currently occupied by Plano-based Cinemark. But, at the end of the third paragraph, we find this breaking news:
The Company has entered into a letter of intent with another operator for the renovation and re-lease of the Grand 24 in Dallas, Texas, which AMC elected not to renew.
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To which David Brain, EPT's CEO, adds: "We are looking forward to rejuvenating the historic Grand 24 property with a new tenant." I've left a message for Weis to see if he can offer more specifics.