Ioka Theatre, Exeter, New Hampshire Gets New Owner
- EXETER - The Ioka Theater has a new owner but his identity is being
Mary Bolduc, co-owner of Country Crossings Property Brokerage, LLC,
which listed the theater, confirmed that a man from Exeter has
purchased the historic downtown theater. The new owner wishes to
remain anonymous at this time, but has lived in Exeter his whole life
and plans to keep the theater intact.
"He's lived in Exeter, and it was a place he used to go and he really
had a vision for the place," Bolduc said. "It was very much a
privilege to list it and sell it."
The owner's identity has not yet been listed with the Rockingham
County Registry of Deeds.
The new owner will take over operations of the Ioka almost
immediately, Bolduc said.
"It's going to be kept very much the same with some improvements,"
she said. "You'll feel some new things happening."
The Ioka went up for sale in May 2003 with a price tag of $999,000.
The sale was finalized Wednesday, Jan. 14, through Ocean National
Bank with a price of $750,000.
In October, a deal to sell the theater to a group of locals who
planned to convert it into a dinner-style movie theater and
microbrewery fell through.
Since then, former owner Jim Blanco has been mum on the theater's
future or whether there were any interested buyers. Blanco did not
return a phone call seeking comment Thursday.
The theater now includes two screens, with a smaller screen
downstairs in what has been converted into an upscale nightclub known
as Club Ioka.
The historic theater has operated since 1915, and has a main theater
with a balcony and 420 seats. Club Ioka has a full bar, movie screen
and seating for 100.