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Garland Theater owner putting business up for sale

The owner of the historic Garland Theater is retiring and putting the business up for sale, though she will retain ownership of the building for now.

Katherine Fritchie, who has owned the business for 20 years and the theater building for 17 years, posted the theater business for sale on the website bizbuysell.com with a $415,000 asking price.

The building itself may be for sale in the future, according to the posting.

Manager Ben Fischer said Fritchie is dedicated to finding a buyer who will not make too many changes and keep it affordable and community oriented. The independent theater primarily features second-run movies.

“It should be the same exact business,” he said. “We’ll probably have small changes like with any new owner.”

Fischer, who has worked at the Garland for about three years, said the business has been for sale for a few weeks.

He said a new general manager is currently being trained because the former general manager is moving to a different area with her husband.

The Garland Theater, 924 W. Garland Ave., was built in 1945. Fritchie bought the business in 1999. Three years later, she bought the building, which is on the national and local historic registers.

County Assessor records show that Fritchie purchased the land and four adjoining plots for $675,000 in 2002 from Sterling Realty Organization Co.

The business generates $115,000 a year in cash flow, according to the online listing. The gross revenue is $1,100,000, and the rent is $10,850 a month. The lease for the theater expires in August 2024, according to the website.

Fritchie nearly sold the Garland in 2015. That deal would have included the land, but it fell apart before it was finalized.

The potential buyer in 2015, Philip Waters, said the deal was for over $1 million. He said he was ready to buy the theater and some adjoining property from Fritchie, but his bank changed its mind two days prior to closing because the theater industry was in decline and the retail space could not easily be converted.

Waters, who now lives in Utah, said he planned on keeping the theater running and not changing it.

“I think it would have been phenomenal,” he said.

Fritchie could not immediately be reached by The Spokesman-Review.

Original article can be found at the Spokesman Review here.

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