New owner for Beaver Theatre
By Chad Ingram
Published Oct. 27, 2016
The theatre in downtown Minden may open its doors again yet.
The building, which operated for years as the Beaver Theatre, has a new owner.
“Right now, what we’re doing is some feasibility studies,” Rahim Lakhani told the Times. “I’ve been talking to people who were involved in the past, but also the community at large. Basically, I’m trying to accumulate as much information as possible.”
Operating as a movie theatre for decades, the Beaver Theatre sat unused for years before being reopened for a brief period by the previous owner in 2009. While the plan was for the Water Street building to serve as a movie theatre, live performance venue and arts hub, burst pipes led to a multi-million lawsuit between the previous owner and a number of contractors, which also named the township.
A tax arrears certificate filed by the Township of Minden Hills in May of 2015 shows the previous owner was nearly $13,000 in arrears at that time and land registry documents show Lakhani purchased the property in September of 2016 for just more than $70,000.
Just what will become of the building will depend on the outcome of engineering assessments, but the Oshawa-based Lakhani seems hopeful that elements of the building, including its vintage facade, will be able to be left intact.
He said he’s encouraged by the response he’s received from people in the community.
“I’m very pleased just to hear from people,” he said, adding how friendly everyone has been. “That to me tells me the community wants a theatre, needs a theatre. If we do go forward, the foundation of that would be community support.”
Lakhani plans to make a presentation to Minden Hills council in November.
In the meantime, he’s asking residents with any memories, photos, videos or stories of the theatre they would like to share to send them to MindenHillsTheatre@gmail.com.
“We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts that will help in the rehabilitation of the premises,” he said.