Block E clears out, AMC movie theaters to close Sept. 23

Developers announced that AMC movie theaters in downtown Minneapolis' Block E will close at the end of the business day Sept. 23. The complex is nearly empty, leaving only one business afloat. Block E's owner intended to build a $400 million casino in the space, but the plan wasn't making any progress at the Capitol.
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Another one bites the dust. WCCO-TV reports AMC Theaters in downtown's Block E will close on Sept 23, leaving the Shout House Dueling Piano Bar as one of the last businesses left in the development.

Earlier this year, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul upheld a previous ruling that would not allow the theater to extend its lease beyond September.

Developers have explored the idea of transforming the complex into a casino or office space. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has said a casino option was not making any progress within the state legislature.

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The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is upholding a previous ruling that the 15-screen theater doesn't have the option to extend its lease. The Star Tribune reports it's unclear whether the movie complex in downtown Minneapolis can negotiate a new lease or if it will close. Camelot LLC bought the retail space in 2010 and it's being considered a possible site for the state's first non-tribal casino.

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Developers continue to insist the retail space is ideal for an urban casino in downtown Minneapolis. They told Fox 9 it could attract 5.5 million visitors and create 2,500 jobs. However, the developers are taking a gamble because this idea is only possible if lawmakers expand gaming to non-tribal casinos.

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The city's huge entertainment-retail complex now sits half-empty, and while the owner wants it to house a $400 million casino, the mayor says that plan isn't going anywhere at the Capitol. But there is a Plan B: Gut most of the complex and fill it with offices.

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