Elks Theatre in Middletown forced to close - abc27 WHTM

Elks Theatre in Middletown forced to close

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The Elks Theatre and several other businesses in the Elks building in Middletown are now out of business.

The building was closed to the public Thursday after it did not meet building codes.

"We cant allow the public in there. The roof is leaking, the ceilings are coming down. Steps need to be taken to repair the building," said Andy Nelson of Commonwealth Codes Inspection Service.

Kathy Suhr has been running Alma's Flowers and gifts for 20 years, which is located in the retail section of the building. She will now be forced to close for Easter weekend, one of her busiest times of the year.

"I am mad, real mad. I was under the impression the work (repairs) were done," said Suhr.

Charles Dunn, owner of Dunn's Antique's, says he has been dealing with a leaky ceiling for months.

"To be honest with you ... it hurts, but I knew it was coming. I prepared myself," Dunn said.

The Greater Middletown Economic Development Corporation runs the building. It says the repairs were made within the time allotted and the borough and the codes enforcer jumped the gun.

"The letter says we have 15 days from the date of receipt. Fifteen days from April 3rd would be the 18th, which is tomorrow," said Gordon Einhorn of GMEDC.

Einhorn says the GMEDC was in negotiations with the borough to let them buy the building.

"The borough has been trying for over a year to acquire this building by hook or by crook," he said. "Apparently they do not like the way the negotiations have been going. The actions that have been taking recently, regarding these supposed code violations, we believe are a tactic in those negotiations. It is really unfair that an innocent party has been caught in this improper action.


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