The City of Saskatoon continues to consider granting Basic Municipal Heritage Property designation to Saskatoon, but the owner says he is not interested.
Magic Lantern president Tom Hutchinson said that when the band bought the Roxy Theater 20 years ago, they decided not to designate it “because there was no benefit to keeping the Roxy in the social fabric of Saskatoon”.
Lobbying for Saskatoon’s Roxy Theater to be designated a heritage property
Hutchinson told PKBNEWS that the designation “would put controls in place without any corresponding benefit.”
“The Roxy is a working building, not a museum. As such, it needs to change over time – and we don’t need layers of bureaucracy to help us make decisions about it,” Hutchinson added.
Hutchinson said Magic Lantern has kept the Roxy in “great shape” since its purchase and hopes to continue to do so in the future.
The city administration said on Monday that it had contacted the Roxy property and that although the owner had expressed an interest in preserving the site, they were hesitant about financial support for long-term preservation and the financial stability of designated heritage properties.
“While I’m interested in preserving the Roxy and keeping it part of Saskatoon’s social heritage, I don’t see if the city can help us with that,” Hutchinson told the city when they reached out. .
Saskatoon Heritage Society president Peggy Sarjeant told members of the city of Saskatoon’s planning committee on Monday that the Roxy is down to just one in five atmospheric theaters in the country.
“The designation protects the properties from demolition and unauthorized alterations to critical elements that contribute to the heritage value of the building,” Sarjeant added.
Sarjeant also said the heritage designation can be misunderstood.
She said the designation does not restrict the use of the building, require the building to be restored to its original purpose, or impede the sale of the building.
Sarjeant urged the city to contact the heritage branch and continue conversations with Magic Lantern.
Hutchinson said older buildings should be treated in a special way.
Saskatoon’s historic Roxy Theater for sale
“If we need serious work on the roof, it has to be done now. No discussions, no studies. We have to do it now. Unfortunately, the city not only does not offer serious money, but simply complicates the bureaucracy.
The municipal administration will continue to work with Magic Lantern should the theater company decide that municipal heritage property designation would benefit the Roxy.
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