Concerts, film festivals, kiddie matinees, corporate events and community meetings – this is what’s in store for the Lakewood Theatre, says neighborhood resident Keith McKeague, who leased the historic building last month from owners Jim Christon and Mark Miranda. The theater had been vacant for two years.
McKeague, who renovated Greenville Avenue’s Granada Theatre into its present cinema pub format in the late 1980s, says the Lakewood – the anchor for the shopping center at Gaston and Abrams – will borrow some Granada features, such as the food and alcohol service, but will not be exactly the same.
In accordance with the lease, there will be no structural changes like there were to Granada. McKeague and Miranda say. Planned renovations include updating the lighting and sound system, McKeague says.
Live music and special events, such as a public Halloween party planned for 8 p.m. Oct. 25, will be a mainstay for the new Lakewood, McKeague says. Although movies will be shown, they will not be the primary focus, he says.
“To function solely as a movie theater with a single screen is tough to do,” McKeague says. “We want to become a neighborhood kind of place. I can’t do this unless the community supports it. That’s real important for this theater to survive.”
McKeague is no longer associated with the Granada. Both he and a spokesman for the Granada declined to comment on the reason for McKeagues departure.
“For as long as I had the Granada, people have been coming up to me and saying you ought to get your hands on the Lakewood,” McKeague says. “Now I am.”
To reserve the theater, call 827-5253.