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After 25 years, Carnival Cinemas wants to move

‘We’ve been really grateful to the community that has supported us, and we want to continue’
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The building containing Carnival Theatre and the virtual reality arcade Ctrl V, at 5402 47th St., is on the market. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

The Carnival Cinemas building, where central Albertans head for an affordable night out at the movies, is up for sale.

But don’t worry — the theatre is currently looking to move.

“The intent right now is to relocate,” said owner Bill Ramji. A possible new location is yet to be announced.

“Carnival is not shutting down. Carnival has been around for so many years. We have served the community well and the community has supported us well.

“We are a destination. Wherever we go, people will want to come.”

A for sale sign is posted by Colliers International real estate company on the building, located at 5402 47th St., which also contains the virtual reality arcade Ctrl V.

“We’ve been really grateful to the community that has supported us, and we want to continue to do that, however, it’s time to make a strategic move and look at a higher and better use for Carnival Cinemas property.”

Ramji said the theatre industry took a huge beating during the COVID-19 pandemic and that’s when he decided to sell the building. The development of Capstone, and the upcoming $1.8 billion hospital expansion project, also opened up a lot of options for the site.

Related:

Red Deer Carnival Cinemas reopening Friday

Zoning for the site allows for a variety of uses including restaurants, grocery store, mixed-use commercial/office with residential, health and medical services, multi-family, hotel, and more.

The 2.32-acre site has room for further development, and the paved parking lot has space for 195 vehicles. A redevelopment plan by Colliers proposes that the building become two stories.

Blair McArthur, senior sales associate with Colliers, said the iconic location is on Taylor Drive, one of the city’s main thoroughfares which is attracting the attention of businesses looking for high-traffic areas. It’s also close to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre making it well positioned for medical services.

He said there’s been an uptick in business activity in Red Deer, especially when it comes to commercial, retail and office development.

“Coming out of COVID, we’re definitely seeing a positive momentum in our market, specifically in Red Deer,” McArthur said.

Related:

Many Red Deer businesses change, innovate to survive the pandemic

Ramji said the virtual reality arcade Ctrl V is a separate entity, but part of Carnival, so it will move at the same time as Carnival.

He said it’s just a matter of finding the right buyer for the cinema building that his company built and opened in May 1996, renovated in 2010, and is now located at the gateway into Capstone.

“It’s a well-defined site on Taylor and a lot of people have known Carnival for all the years it’s been open. In fact, people use Carnival Cinemas as a direction.”

He said whoever buys the site can be a catalyst and drive for the densification of Capstone, opening up other possibilities for developers looking at the rest of the Capstone area.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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