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DENVER-The Denver Film Society, after months of negotiations, pulled out of one of the toughest redevelopment projects in Denver, the Lowenstein Theater. Denver developer Charlie Woolley, principal of the St. Charles Town Co., was hoping to anchor the redevelopment and new construction project in East Denver with three high-profile tenants–the Tattered Cover Book Store, Twist & Shout Records, and the film society. The film society was the only non-profit group in the mix.

Ultimately, the film society likely would have needed about $2 million in subsidies for the Lowenstein, where it planned a movie theater, administrative offices, and teaching space. Officials declined to say why the society pulled the plug on the deal, but hinted that it wasn’t able to raise enough money to move forward in a timely manner.

The Tattered Cover will take about 21,000 sf in the historic building; Twist and Shout will take about 12,000 sf and the film society was going to be the largest tenant, with 33,000 sf to 35,000 sf, Woolley tells GlobeSt.com. The latest plan, before the film society pulled out, was to have five movie theaters with a total of 700 seats, Woolley says. He says there is still a chance, although not likely at this time, that the film society could rejoin the project.

“Let me just say the door is open,” Woolley tells GlobeSt.com ” “ We have the space for them,” although it is expensive to build theaters, he notes. And unlike regular retail space, theater space cannot be re-used easily by different user type.

Under the plan going forward, Woolley will downsize the development by about 20,000 sf and will seek other retail tenants for the space to be used by the film society. That will drop the cost of the project from about $22 million to $15.5 million, he says.

Twist & Shout likely will own its space, while the Tattered Cover will be a tenant, Woolley says. Woolley tells GlobeSt.com that he is disappointed that the film society, which is in need of a permanent home, won’t be in the Lowenstein. On the other hand, he says, the deal is now easier to put together from a business standpoint.

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