Casa Linda Theater to become Natural Grocers

Boulder, Colo.-based Natural Grocers has signed a lease to take over the 12,500-square-foot space, says Clay Evans of S.C. Companies, which manages the theater property. The Casa Linda Theater shut down in 1999, and for a time, dinner-and-a-movie companies were eying the space, but nothing ever materialized. We’ve periodically checked in on the space, and grew excited when we noticed construction last spring.

Nostalgic neighbors who watched their favorite flicks at Casa Linda Theater may be saddened by the news, as may those who were holding out hope for some sort of Alamo Drafthouse. Evans, who has been trying to find a tenant for more than three years, is excited to finally have one. “I think the neighborhood will really like it, too,” he says. Natural Grocers submitted applications for permits on Monday, Evans says, so he assumes the build-out will take 90-120 days or so. To get a preview, neighbors can visit the recently-opened store at Preston and Forest, or the store at Coit and Campbell.

In other Casa Linda Plaza news, the wet-dry election may have spurred more restaurant interest in the shopping center. Michael Hale of AmREIT, which owns all of Casa Linda Plaza besides the theater, tells us that “although we can report an increase in inquiries since the wet-dry election took place, we’re not quite ready to publicly announce any new tenants to the center that are directly attributable to the election.” Hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more in 2011.

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  • Toklas

    Ah, yes, Ellenita..Albertson’s: The store you can get in, but can’t get out of…
    But if anyone thinks this will push A to get any better, forget it.

  • Ellenita

    Toklas must not do the food shopping. This is great news for CL. I’m tired of seeing my neighbors shopping at Kroger, Tom Thumb, and Central Market. We have all complained to Albertsons for years and still no improvements. Now we can stay in the neighborhood.

  • Toklas

    This is soooooo disappointing! CL does not need another grocery store. I’ll give the store 1 year before it closes. Then the hunt will be back on for a tenant that will make sense (I doubt it, tho…)

  • Daniel

    Awesome! It would be very cool if they reopened the walkway that used to connect the shopping center directly to Forest Hills Blvd so we wouldn’t have to walk all the way to Garland road to access.

  • Erica

    I really look forward to the new grocery store.So far Natural Grocers stores aren’t very fancy like CM or WF.Good quality vitamins and food at very good prices.
    The problem Casa Linda shopping center is parking and the congestion surrounding it.
    Hopefully we will get some more user friendly businesses.My husband and I walk to Starbucks and the grocery store at night.It would be great to have some more late night options

  • Essbee

    If they don’t keep the facade and tower, they’re probably from Dallas.

  • Becca

    I’m so excited that I’ll have an organic food store I can ride my bike to from Little Forest Hills. I love the Lakewood Whole Foods, but I’m not biking up and down Gaston for anyone.

  • Brad Ford Smith

    The facade is all that is left of the old movie theater. For years it has been a gutted shell with DIRT floors. Very glad to hear it’s being renovated for a store that I will us!

  • Miranda

    What exciting news! Empty spaces are no good for our neighborhood shopping center… if we can fill some of the many more empty spaces. Let us all support our Casa Linda businesses!

  • Lakewood Dad

    Okay, Christina, as long as we’re reminiscing, the last movie that I saw at the Casa Linda Theatre (note correct spelling) was “Titanic” with my wife, mom, and grandmother. It was the last movie that my grandmother ever saw, comically tragic at the time, as her hearing aids went wild when Celene Dion hit “near, far, whereever you are …” … The first movie I ever saw there was “Young Frankenstein” with my parents and sister in 1975, I think. Good times. … Like others have expressed, I hope that the facade and marquee are preserved, without “Mighty Joe Young” still being on the parking lot marquee. … Aside from the El Fenix across the street and the old Doctors Hospital building, the theater is the last historical commercial architecture/building in the area. Would be a shame to see it go. Surely the new tenant can endeavor to maintain the exterior of the building.

  • Christina Hughes Babb

    oooh—this would be a good time to revisit the “Casa Linda: Thanks For the Memories story:

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  • Kyle Rains

    The first movie I remember seeing at the Casa Linda was “The Green Berets” starring John Wayne in 1968. In fact many of the East Dallas Y Indian Guides were there. I’m still in constant contact with most of those ‘kids’. Still lamenting the loss of The Arcadia, where they showed Hammer Films with Christopher Lee and latter-day Vincent Price fare. Once they scored a second-run of “The Sound of Music” and brought in an entirely different crowd. It always does my heart good to see the Lakewood Theater tower – especially when the ‘ball’ is sparkling. Did Reunion Tower rip off that feature?

  • Jeanette Crumpler

    Always sad to see the old theatre buildings changed but I hope too they will keep the marquee & the exterior look. It is hard to realize that nobody was supporting it when it was a movie theatre for many years. But none of us liked it closing. Irony.
    Glad to hear the Village Theatre is re-opening and the Lakewood Theatre is still going along but no movies are being shown there, and the building looks in pretty bad shape and in need of care.

  • Jamey

    I echo the sentiment of other though that I hope they do the right thing and try to keep the theater facade – now *that* would be a bummer.

  • Jamey

    While obviously a theater would have been neat – I think there’s a reason it hasn’t happened – there’s just no way that building could be brought back as a theater.

    For those of you thinking Natural Grocers is another Central Market knock-off, you’re going to be in for a treat – because it’s not – it’s much better. This place is really affordable – they only sell organic produce, but the prices don’t seem that much more than a usual store. The vibe of this grocer definitely fits in with the neighborhood and I can’t wait for it to happen!

  • Jo

    Great news! Driving to Tom thumb, central mkt and whole foods because the albertsons within walking distance is so bad will no longer be necessary. Hope they’ll sell from local farms and dairies

  • Roy

    Glad something is going in there. Now…. if we could just build a wall underneath the Ferguson Road bridge……..

  • Brad Pippin

    Awesome! Glad to see something going in there. Albertsons needs some competition.

  • Kathleen Pulte

    I am so glad to have a natural food market in our neighborhood. I just hope it will be as good as Central Market.

  • Anon.

    Do we know yet if the signature marquee and exterior theater architecture will remain in place? I’d hate to see those elements be lost.

  • Foodie

    Hate to see an old theater runied. But – NG is a great IN-expensive organically based grocery store with great selection, all organic produce and great sales! I think it will be a great addition to the neighborhood!

  • Paul Burrough

    Big boo on this. What a waste of a cool old building. Can’t wait to pay top-dollar for trendy eats, though.