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Abandoned Empress Theatre in NDG could soon be getting makeover after new partnership announced

NDG's Empress Theatre on Sherbrooke St., on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
NDG's Empress Theatre on Sherbrooke St., on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

The curtain may soon rise again on Notre-Dame-de-Grâce’s Empress Theatre.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Empress Theatre Foundation announced that it has signed a letter of intent with French cinema chain MK2.

The hope is to bring the abandoned theatre on Sherbrooke Street back to life.

The Empress originally opened in 1927 with a variety of onstage shows and movies. A fire in 1992 caused damage to the theatre and resulted in its permanent closure.

The foundation says the Montreal landmark will be transformed into a modern cinematic complex.

READ MORE: Councillors vote to help re-open old Empress Theatre

“The plans that we have now include 880 seats in five different cinemas in this building,” said Empress Theatre Foundation president Kim Fuller.

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“It would also include a restaurant, bar and coffee shop. And if we can get it with rooftop access — we’re still looking into the feasibility of that — there may also be some space there that we can use for other activities.”

The group intends on submitting a business plan to the city of Montreal by the end of the month, and then ask the borough of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce to donate the building to the foundation.

The foundation says if the project gets the go-ahead, construction could begin in the new year, with hopes of a grand opening in 2019.