A Harkins Theatres spokesperson confirmed the news in a July 19 email to Phoenix New Times.
"Because of the age of the theatre, a substantial reinvestment would have been necessary in order to make the theatre viable for the future, which was not feasible," the spokesperson said.
A proposed developer, The Wolff Company, is in the early stages of seeking a rezoning permit for the property, in order to build a gated community with 278 multi-family residential units. It's represented by the legal firm Withey Morris, which issued a letter about proposed zoning changes to property owners and neighborhood association leaders on June 25.
That letter did not reference Harkins Theatres, and the law firm has not yet sent New Times a statement. But the city of Phoenix has confirmed that the rezoning request was made. City staff are currently reviewing the request, which means they have not yet determined whether or not to recommend the change, which would be needed to build a residential development on that property.
"There will be ample opportunity for public participation," according to David Simmons, a village planner with the city. "The site will be posted with signage reflecting all upcoming hearing dates when they become available," he wrote in a July 16 email to New Times.
"Public participation," he wrote, "is a critical component of the entitlement process."
Harkins' spokesperson said North Valley 16 "will remain open until an official closing date is determined closer to the end of the year" and hinted that a new theater in the area may be on the way.
"While we are closing this chapter, stay tuned for exciting information about our future plans for a new state-of-the-art theatre nearby."