Historic IMAX demolished as part of new pavilion design

Historic IMAX demolished as part of new pavilion design

On Monday at around 1 p.m., the demolition of the IMAX theater in Riverfront Park began.

The Spokane landmark is being removed to make way for the new renovations to the pavilion area that will be implemented by 2019.

The entire park is currently being renovated thanks to a $64 million bond that was passed by voters back in November of 2015.

However, the pavilion section of the park has received intense scrutiny from pro-bond voters due to changes to the original park renovation plan.

After many discussions between the Parks and Rec city council board and the renovation design teams, it was decided that the pavilion will have a different design than originally planned.

The IMAX demolition that began on Monday marks the end of the first phase (the destruction of the old area) in the new pavilion construction.

“I used to see movies there,” shrugged Spokane Parks and Rec Director Leroy Eadie, who agreed Monday was bittersweet day for his department.

“It was no longer operating as a profitable theater. If you can’t find a good reason to keep the building, it’s time to take it down.”

The IMAX building, first built in 1978, was originally scheduled to be demolished in March. However, due to the proper equipment being on site, the city approved crews to take down the building early.

Riverfront Park’s IMAX reached peak popularity in 2005 when over 100,000 customers came through. However, shortly after that, the theater suffered significant losses.

The building will be replaced by a meadow separating the new-look US Pavilion and the Howard Street Promenade.

The demolition is expected to take most of the week.