Hotel sale pending; theater to close its doors

Truman 4 Theaters employee Kyle Pickett serves up refreshments as moviegoers hit the concessions to stock up on popcorn and soda before the early matinee showing of “Epic” on Saturday afternoon.

Truman 4 Theaters employee Kyle Pickett serves up refreshments as moviegoers hit the concessions to stock up on popcorn and soda before the early matinee showing of “Epic” on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Kris Wilson.

Truman Hotel and Conference Center is on its way to new ownership.

Lisa Steiner, the hotel’s manager, confirmed the pending sale last week, but declined any further comment.

The approximate 9-acre campus, located at 1510 Jefferson St., was recently placed on the market through Kansas-based hotel brokerage firm Leisure Real Estate Advisors by owners Christian Peper Jr. and Rex Bertram, both St. Louis attorneys.

“The property contract was signed last week,” Brent Jaynes, managing partner for the real estate brokerage, said Friday.

The transaction price and most other details remain confidential; however, Jaynes noted the sale is on a faster track than usual.

The 233-room hotel and all the rights associated with operating it are a part of the sale. The sale also includes the hotel’s restaurant, Bingham’s.

“The buyers haven’t divulged their plans,” Jaynes said, but he noted the assumption is that the new owners will eventually redevelop the property.

“(This sale) is beneficial for both parties, it is a great piece of dirt with a hotel on it,” Jaynes added.

Although the purchase price has not been revealed, Truman Hotel was recently listed at $1.775 million after an earlier price reduction. The Cole County Assessor’s Office said the 2012 assessed value is $4 million.

Truman 4 Theaters, also listed for sale, will close the curtain on a long Jefferson City history. Theater manager Derek Goodin said the local second-run theater will show its last movies on June 30.

“We haven’t hung a sign or anything, but are telling people if they ask,” the manager said.

In Goodin’s opinion, the closure was somewhat anticipated. He said the costs of moving from film to digital are notably expensive. The theater opened in January 1970, and became a second-run theater in the late ’90s when Capital 8 Theaters opened its doors. Goodin, who has been a theater employee for 13 years, said the local business employs seven people.

“It’s been great; working in the theater is the best job you can have,” Goodin said. He noted the joys associated with seeing the emotion on people’s faces as they come out of the theater, and watching the awkward exchange of the first dates. “It’s a great job.”

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