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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

City Council approves Muvico parking deal



ST. PETERSBURG -- The City Council unanimously approved a deal to give Muvico customers at BayWalk free parking if the theater moves forward with a $750,000 makeover.

The revamped theater will include two restaurant and lounge balcony areas for patrons 21 and older and an updated IMAX theater.

"We look at this as an investment," said Rick Mussett, the city's development administrator. "There's a huge intangible and that intangible is keeping the movie theater open."

Mike Wilson, a spokesman for Muvico, said attendance at the movie theater has declined to 40 percent of its former sales.

"Everybody wants our movie theaters to succeed," said Mayor Rick Baker. "Having a movie theater downtown has become one of the special things of St. Petersburg." 

But council member Leslie Curran said the theater sometimes smells and is often crowded with texting teenagers.

"The restrooms are always in terrible condition," she added.

Residents crowded into the City Council chamber to listen to the debate.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:09pm]


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