Minden’s Beaver Theatre located at 12 Water Street is on the market.
The theatre which has been boarded up for several years was purchased by Rahim Lakhani in the fall of 2016.
Lakhani’s vision had been to re-open the theatre with it operating as a not-for-profit performance space and community hub.
The idea was for the theatre to function through a not-for-profit community partnership involving Minden Hills township the community at large and what he was potentially calling the Minden Hills Theatre Not-for-Profit Society which would have been governed by a board of directors. Lakhani would have acted as landlord and his vision was the facility could be used to host movie festivals banquet and conference events live performances even college workshops and bingo nights.
Those plans never came to fruition.
Lakhani purchased the property after the previous owner went into tax arrears with the township of Minden Hills.
A tax arrears certificate filed by the Township of Minden Hills in May of 2015 shows the previous owner was nearly $13000 in arrears at that time and land registry documents show Lakhani purchased the property in September of 2016 for just more than $70000.
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 at that time 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.
It has sat vacant and boarded up since.
Earlier this year Lakhani had been looking for a business partner for the development of the property. The paper did not hear from him before press time.
During its heyday from the 1950s to the 1990s the Beaver Theatre was owned and operated by Lou and Molly Consky who also owned the Molou Theatre in Haliburton village and a movie theatre in Fenelon Falls.