CARY — The pressure is off Galaxy Cinema for now, its chief executive confirmed Friday. The art-house theater’s landlord dismissed a six-figure rent claim against the business on Thursday, according to court records.
The landlord company dropped the eviction case because the business “paid enough rent for that to happen,” said Smedes York, chairman of York Properties. A York subsidiary had claimed that Galaxy owed almost $160,000 in purported past-due rent, but neither party has disclosed how much Galaxy paid or whether the theater is caught up on rent.
With the eviction motion gone, Galaxy can continue operations for the time being, according to CEO Kirit Padia.
“I knew it would have to be resolved,” Padia said.
Now, he says, his goal is to keep the theater open as long as possible.
Padia doesn’t believe the legal threat will return. But another challenge for the well-loved theater remains: York Properties still has tentative plans to replace the cinema with a Harris Teeter supermarket, according to public records.
Some changes have taken place already: On Monday, Galaxy closed its restaurant, Bombay Beijing, with little explanation.
Padia is willing to accept whatever change comes for the theater. The landlord has every right to reconfigure the shopping center, he said.
But while the owner of the shopping center prepares its plans, Padia said, “the Galaxy will go on.”
There’s also a plan B in the works. More than 1,000 people have joined a Facebook group to “Save Galaxy Cinema!” Several are discussing new venues for specialty films like the ones Galaxy has generated a following with over the years.
Despite that following, the Bollywood and indie film venue has lost money. Padia has described the theater as something of a community service, a meeting ground for Cary folks of many cultures.
But in the end, he said, efforts to relocate the theater will depend on financing.
“We will have to explore some other possibilities,” he said. “It’s all about how much money you spend, and what money it will bring.”
Kenney: 919-460-2608 or twitter.com/KenneyOnCary