It's curtains for the Clinton Theater. And it's lights out for the Clintonville Electric building on North High Street that includes the historic but long-abandoned movie house.
It's curtains for the Clinton Theater.
And it's lights out for the Clintonville Electric building on North High Street that includes the historic but long-abandoned movie house.
Although the Clinton Theater once again is the focus of some community interest in preservation, two members of the Clintonville Area Commission, chairwoman D Searcy and District 2 representative Sarah Snyder, said late last week that documents had been received relating to a demolition permit for the series of structures.
The area commission cannot prevent the demolition from taking place, but merely delay it for 60 days if Searcy does not sign the documents, she and Snyder said.
The demolition permit covers not only the abandoned appliance store but also a former wine shop and the 1,500-seat movie theater, which opened in 1927.
"It's all four addresses," Snyder said.
Owner Phillip W. Karshner, the stepson of the founder of Clintonville Electric, faces a court-imposed July 31 deadline for correcting code violations at the properties.
In early June, Karshner said that he was mulling whether to try to restore the structures or tear them down.
He did not return a call seeking comment.
"I was not surprised," Searcy said. "As a matter of fact, given the condition of the building, it's really Mr. Karshner's decision to move forward."
"I think through discussion in the community it was pretty apparent that this was the likely outcome," Snyder said last week. "In the last few days, it seems he's had workers on site doing some of the preparation work for the demolition.
"I think it's obviously somewhat sad that it's reached this point, but there have been many attempts at preservation and they've been unsuccessful," Snyder added. "There have been ideas over the years but nobody has come forward with the money to do any of them. At this point, I think the buildings have deteriorated beyond the point where it makes sense to keep them."
"The thing is it's been a blight on the community and people have complained about it for a number of months now, if not years," Searcy said.
The demolition permit will be placed on the agenda of the CAC's next meeting, set for July 8, but for the purposes of discussion only, she said.
"The CAC cannot stop a demo permit," Searcy said. "There's no provision in the city to stop a demo permit.
"I think in this case, since Mr. Karshner is up against a deadline with the city, I don't think it makes much sense for the Clintonville community to stand in his way. No matter what we do we cannot stand in the way of the demolition."
Searcy added that she would wait until after the July 8 meeting to sign the documents.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 8 in the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
"Demolition can take place almost immediately once the signature happens," Snyder said.
"It is sad to see that it has gotten to this point, but I don't think a continued vacancy is a benefit to either the owner or the community," she added.