Old cinema for sale

Clarkston News Staff Writer

The supernatural horror film “Stigmata” was on the Clarkston Cinema marquee months after it closed in 1999, according to The Clarkston News.
Owners of the commercial property at 6808 Dixie hope any stigma has lifted since then, putting it up for sale last week. The building, which housed a 266-seat movie theater along with real estate, insurance, and other tenants, is being sold by the current owners through Robert Harrison and Diane Ducat of Keller Williams Realty Clarkston. It’s listed on their website for $1,259,999.
“When evaluating market value of a property, there are many factors that must be taken into consideration,” Harrison said. “We take into consideration the unique zoning of that property which allows basically every single commercial zoning option available, including PUD, which is very rare and extremely valuable.”
Built in 1970, the property has laid vacant for many years. Whatever plans the owners had for it never came to fruition. “They’re busy, they work and it just was something they never were able to get around to,” Harrison said. “Knowing, in fact, once they were to sell it and ready to sell it, it’s a valuable piece of property, it’s essentially the most valuable piece of property left on Dixie Highway in Clarkston.”
Harrison explained they reached out to the owners and it was the right time to sell for them.
“This property is priced to sell, however it’s a fair price and the zoning that it allows for is unlimited,” he said.
The cinema was officially put on the market on July 19, though the realty signs had been put up about a week prior.
“It’s exploded since then,” Harrison said. “Every time a car has been here, people pull in and they want to talk, they want to see, they want to know.”
He’s received several calls from those interested in the theater, between 10 and 15 a day, of which about 30 percent are qualified buyers.
In 1997, The Clarkston News reported in “The show must go on” that the new owner of the then 25-year-old Clarkston Cinema hoped the community would come through and keep the movie theater running. He offered family friendly flicks with small-town charm.
On Nov. 17, 1999, the News reported “Clarkston Cinema closed.”
The property was in foreclosure because the owner was in default of his mortgage. A notice said $175,182.05 was owed, after profits plummeted 50-60 percent during the 1997 season. The theater faced competition from new, larger cinemas like Waterford 11 on M-59.
A story in 2000 reported “Clarkston Cinema allegedly bounces payroll checks”. The theater, which reopened after threat of foreclosure in November 1999, was in hot water again when two former employees of the theater filed a complaint with the State of Michigan against the owner for failure to pay wages.
In 2001, The Clarkston News reported, “Theater owner ordered to pay restitution, on probation” – nearly 10 months after the case was first brought to the court system, the former owner of the Clarkston Cinema and Broadway Real Estate, Inc. on Dixie Highway, was sentenced for embezzling $2,800 from a Pontiac couple who placed the money on a down payment on a home in 1999.

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