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Atascadero City Council pledges to keep Galaxy Theatres and Colony Square going

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Ava Kershner
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The property owners are asking for more time to apply for additional grant funding so they will be able to meet their financial needs and finally recover from the fiscal damage of the pandemic.

The Galaxy Theatres and Colony square have been the heart of the Atascadero downtown area for many years.

But since the pandemic hit, the theater, restaurants and other businesses were forced to limit service or shut down.

Because of this, the theater has not been able to pay the rent to Cinema Square, which owns the property and leases space to the Galaxy Theatres, Que Pasa Mexican restaurant and Slo-Do-Co.

Cinema Square property owner Jeff Nelson has been unable to pay his mortgage and could potentially face foreclosure by a group of lenders.

Nelson said he’s been caught in a difficult situation.

“The lender is hammering us because we did not absolutely hammer those tenants,” Nelson said.

The Galaxy Theatre’s CEO, Frank Rimkus,  said it’s personal to both him and the Atascadero community.

“A lot of people look at it: it’s not Galaxy Theatre doing business in Atascadero, but rather, it’s Atascadero’s Galaxy Theatre” Rimkus said.

Rimkus said the lenders are tough and hard to work around.

Nelson is trying to work with the city and the mortgage lenders, and hopes to stave off a potential foreclosure.

The property owners are asking for more time to apply for additional grant funding so they are able to meet their financial needs and can finally recover from the fiscal damage of the pandemic.

“We will do what we can to support both Cinema Squares and Galaxy and make sure that we can keep colony square going.” Mayor of Atascadero, Heather Moreno, said.

Moreno said the city is in full support of doing what it can to keep the businesses open.

City council passed a resolution on Feb. 23 declaring support for the property and its importance to the community.

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