The plan to bring a movie theater to the Pearl West building in downtown Boulder was thought by many to have died this summer, when the City Council declined a chance to provide tax funding in support of an independent cinema.

According to property manager Lynda Gibbons, though, talks are back on to put a a theater in the currently vacant basement of Pearl West, which was built to accommodate a theater, but has never been developed into anything more than an empty shell.

Gibbons was not prepared to reveal much about the current talks, but she did indicate that the potential theater operator is not Violet Crown Cinemas, the Austin-based company that was planning as of this summer to build a four-screen, first-run theater, complete with high-end drinks and food.

"It's not a reignited old negotiation," Gibbons said, "but new interest from new parties."

Sean Maher, executive director of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, has been closely involved for years in the various failed attempts to put an indie theater downtown, and he stressed that the current talks are far from guaranteed to deliver any agreement.


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"It's preliminary right now," he said. "The landlord put a lot of time and effort and brain damage into the last process, and this is just the very start right now."

Gibbons said that the 12,000-square-foot basement space may also become a fitness center. Pearl West is negotiating simultaneously, she said, with providers who would respectively build out the space for that purpose, for a theater and possibly for "a couple of other uses."

The posh Pearl West development, which sits on the land occupied for nearly 120 years by the Daily Camera, has only two vacancies remaining: the basement and a first-floor retail space next to the Fjällräven outdoor sports store.

Said Gibbons, of that space, "We're in negotiations on a couple of really interesting, really great companies there, that would be wonderful to bring to Boulder. So we're excited about that."

Alex Burness: 303-473-1389, burnessa@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/alex_burness