A 20-year-old entrepreneur is seeking approval from the Portland City Council to open an old-fashioned theater bar in the former location of The Movies on Exchange, a 145-seat theater that closed in 2008.

Josh Soley said in a letter to the council that he would cater to a “mature clientele,” offering cocktails and classic movie showings in the afternoons and live music and dancing at night. However, the business will not resemble the old movie house. Information submitted to the city shows a movie-themed bar with tables, pool tables and a stage.

“The establishment I plan to open will be unique in comparison to the existing local businesses,” Soley said in his letter. “I want to target an older, professional audience who may use the venue for relaxation, entertainment and business networking.”

Soley, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is doing business as Trouble LLC. He is seeking a Class A lounge license with entertainment, dance and a motion picture theater. If approved, the establishment would add to an already dynamic – and some say crowded – bar scene in the Old Port.

Steve Hewins, president of Portland’s Downtown District, said no one has expressed concern to him about the proposal, although many wonder how many bars is too many in the Old Port, where there is a variety of retail stores and an increasing number of hotels.

“Right now, it’s a fairly healthy mix,” Hewins said. “We need to remain vigilant so that we don’t go over a tipping point.”

Soley and business partner Stephen O’Brien plan to offer pizza slices, popcorn and candy in addition to movie-themed cocktails, such as the rum-based “Casablanca,” Scotch-based “Godfather” and, of course, a “James Bond Martini” that presumably is shaken and not stirred.

But if you’re looking to sit back in traditional movie seating to watch the classics, you may be out of luck.

According to a hand-drawn diagram submitted to the city, the room will have tables and chairs, as well as pool tables. The movie screen would be located at the back of the room, which would also feature a stage for live music. The bar would occupy the front corner.

The building is the former home of The Movies on Exchange, which ended its 32-year run in the Old Port in 2008. The 145-seat theater had a dedicated following that was drawn to its selection of alternative, independent, foreign, documentary and classic films.

Owners Steve and Judy Halpert moved their movies to the Portland Museum of Art, rebranding the business as Movies at the Museum, now called PMA Movies. The couple said at the time the decision was not because of the recession, but that it was “time to do other things.”

In January of 2009, city officials evicted commercial and residential tenants from the building because fire safety concerns dating to 2007 were not being addressed by the landlord, Joseph Soley, Josh Soley’s grandfather. City officials said the building in the heart of the Old Port lacked adequate fire alarms, sprinklers and emergency lighting, and could be deadly if a fire broke out.

Joseph Soley made upgrades necessary to allow for the occupancy for the commercial spaces on the first and second floors. The third and fourth floors remain vacant, a city official said. In December of 2009, a fire broke out in an elevator shaft, but it was quickly suppressed by the new sprinkler system, firefighters said.