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Empty cinema building becomes a mortgage for Sarnen

Sarnen, the capital of Obwalden. What happens there with the former Seefeld cinema is still open. (Archive recording)


The municipality of Sarnen has not yet found a solution for the Hirschen / Kino Seefeld building complex, which has been vacant since autumn 2019. It is currently difficult to find an investor for cultural and tourist projects, and the property would have to be completely renovated for a new use and, if necessary, rezoned, she said.

The Seefeld cinema has existed since 1947, it is an extension of the Hotel Hirschen. The municipality bought the property in 2015 for 1.6 million francs. The cinema was closed in 2019, and interim use in the Hirschen was also ended.

In order to enable continued operation, the municipality looked for a new user with a public tender. Unfortunately, to date no investor or operator has been found who has met the community’s expectations, it said on Tuesday.

According to the municipality, a further complication is that the cinema and the hotel can no longer be rented in their current state. Before a complete renovation, however, the future use would have to be known, it says in the message.

Property in the spa zone

In addition, the property is located in the spa zone. With a re-zoning one would have more possibilities of use, said community clerk Max Rötheli at the request of the Keystone-SDA news agency.

The notification considers rezoning into residential, commercial or public zones. This can only be addressed with the upcoming local planning revision. Only when there is planning security in this regard, options such as the transfer of the property to an investor under building law could also be examined.

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