Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Memphis Drive-In Update

Well, it is official. The county's last drive-in theater has been sold. The Brooklyn Sun Journal reported the sale last Thursday.

Farewell, Memphis

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Brooklyn Sun Journal

BROOKLYN _ The Memphis Drive-In Theater officially was sold as of Tuesday.

Those who work at the drive-in were told they had to remove everything from the establishment by Monday. Memphis Entertainment Group Manager Mike Kissel said he has not been told what will move in now that official word has come down about the sale.

He is in the process of trying to sell items from the theater, including things like deep fryers and an ice machine. Other larger items were also up for sale, but they had planned to wait to sell things until official word came. That will be hard now, he said, because there is such short notice. He plans to put items that cannot be sold before Monday into storage. Those interested in purchasing items can call Kissel at (440) 781-4495.

The drive-in theater is one of the few remaining in the area. It was open for 52 years.

However, the sale was not officially finalized until yesterday, according to the county auditor site (transfer date - October 16).
The property had an estimated market value of $1,608,900, but according to the auditor data it sold for $3,000,000. I guess the drive-in owner wasn't kidding when he said an offer was presented that he could not refuse.
So who is the new owner?
There were many rumors going around: furniture warehouse, big box, condos.
It looks like none of these are true - at least not at first glance. The new owner, or 'Grantee,' is a company called Custom Holdings, INC. After Googling the name I found that it could be one of two companies.
It is either a company owned by Circleville Metal Works based in Circleville, Ohio, or one of many affiliates wholly owned by none other then American Greetings.
I choose the later. I called the public relations office at American Greetings to confirm this but that call has not been returned. So as of now, I will speculate that AG is not in the big box, or condo business and is instead looking to expand.
If they call me back, I will update.


Domenic said...

It was bought by American Greeting and it will be a park.

From this URL: http://www.cleveland.com/weblogs/business/index.ssf?/mtlogs/cleve_business/archives/2006_10.html#195695

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

American Greetings subsidiary buys Memphis Drive-In

2:08 p.m.

American Greetings Corp. confirmed it has purchased the Memphis Drive-In theater property just north of the company's world headquarters in Brooklyn.

American Greetings will use the land, a little more than 20 acres at 10543 Memphis Ave., to "create a landscaped area, possibly with walking paths, to expand and enhance its corporate campus," according to a written statement from the company.

The property, valued at $1,608,900, according to the Cuyahoga County auditor's office, was sold Monday for $3 million to Custom Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of American Greetings.

American Greetings says the property will begin to be cleared immediately because the movie screens and other structures are in poor condition. A third party is developing master plans for the site, which is surrounded by property American Greetings already owns. The company does not anticipate having final plans for the site for at least a year.

"In this year when we're celebrating our 100th anniversary, it seemed particularly appropriate to demonstrate our commitment to the Cleveland area," chief executive Zev Weiss said in a prepared statement. "This purchase makes a statement that we intend to stay in Cleveland for years to come."

By Janet Cho, jcho@plaind.com