Work on new Ready theaters begins
By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Ready or not.
The Ready Theatre, a long-time staple of downtown Niles, is scheduled to move locations from Main Street to Front Street in the coming months.
Carol Moore is the president of Moore Theatres, a company that operates four Southwestern Michigan movie theaters including The Ready. Her company purchased the old Wonderland Hardware building located on Front Street about three years ago.
Original plans called for renovating the building and providing additional movie screens at the Front Street location. However, Moore said Thursday, while no plans are firm, she plans to close the current Main and Fifth street location when renovation is complete at the Front street building.
Moore said she is not sure what she will do with the current building, but said as of right now, she does not plan to operate a movie theater there.
She said they are looking at possibly April or May for the offical opening on Front Street location, but are not working on any strict deadline.
Moore said the new location will expand from four to six theaters and it will be "much nicer" than the current location.
Work has begun to construct the walls that will separate each theater.
Moore said one new feature of the theater will be a patio for outside seating so that movie goers can admire the Riverfront Park.
Lisa Croteau, director of the Downtown Development Authority, said it is great news that The Ready is staying and even expanding its operation in the Niles community and said the Front Street location could bring more traffic to the Riverfront area.
When asked about what might happen with the Main Street building, Croteau said city and downtown officials will have to wait and see what the Moores decide to do with the building.
She said it is a great building that could be used for a variety of things.
Niles City Administrator Terry Eull said if the building on Main Street is vacated, it will not affect the plans to develop a green space in the two city-owned lots across the street from it.
Though unsure of the specifics of the move, Eull said the move to Front Street shouldn't have a significant impact on the city.