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Downtown movie theater closed temporarily after sprinkler system breaks

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A trendy, new, downtown St. Louis dine-in movie theater is shut down.

The sprinkler system is the adjacent parking garage froze and sprang a leak, the theater owner said; yet another casualty of last week’s sub-zero deep freeze.

The MX Theatre on Washington Avenue just marked its first anniversary this week—while it was shut down.

A Fox 2 crew got inside Wednesday night.  It sure seemed like people could be watching movies.

Still, it was closed for an eighth straight night.

“What happened was some of the sprinkler pipes in the garage burst, which shut down the entire sprinkler system for the building, including the movie theater,” said Amos Harris of Spinnaker-St. Louis, which owns the theater.

The actual water damage to the theater was minimal.  A few well-placed trash cans caught any drips and spared the carpeting.  There was a little bubbling paint and “hard to see” water damage to one screen.

But the theater cannot reopen until the sprinkler system is working again.

Ground floor restaurants like Pi-Pizza and Snarf's Sandwiches re-opened after just a few days. But the theater is on the second floorand the owner says that has apparently made the repair more challenging.

The MX is Pita Gonzales’ favorite theater.  So much so – she’s holding a charity fundraiser Friday at Snarf’s sandwich shop next door for the Paul Mitchell cosmetology school, where she’s a student.

Proceeds will provide students with more advanced opportunities.   Having the theater open will certainly help the cause, “If they could really open up by Friday, it would be really amazing for me for Friday night so people could come see a movie and come get a sandwich,” she said.

“We’re shooting for Friday night.  We’ll be open either Friday night or Saturday,” Harris explained.  “As soon as the garage gets the sprinkler system fixed, we’re back up in business.”

He expected the fire department to test the sprinkler system in the next day or two.