February 9, 2017
From Fox11online.com: One of the main tenants of Green Bay’s East Town Mall will close next week. The Budget Cinemas is going dark amid plans to try to redevelop the entire mall. Although, Kevin Vonck, Green Bay’s economic development director, believes the closure likely would have happened either way. “You just look at the rise globally of Netflix and Amazon and all these other streaming services and across the nation movie theatres are taking a hit,” said Vonck.
February 3, 2017
From grbj.com: A movie theater in the region featuring more than 30 draft beers has announced it will close.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kalamazoo, at 180 Portage St., announced this week it plans to close on April 3.
Alamo representative Steve Phillips says the property on which the theater sits was sold, and the new owner plans to terminate Alamo’s lease, according to a Jan. 31 notice filed with the State of Michigan and Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell.
Phillips, senior director of people at Alamo, says this will result in a permanent shutdown of the theater and across-the-board layoffs.
“Some Alamo employees whose Kalamazoo positions will be eliminated may receive offers to transfer to different Alamo locations. However, like all other Kalamazoo employees, any employees who receive but reject an offer to transfer to a different location will no longer work for Alamo after their Kalamazoo position is eliminated,” Phillips says.
On Facebook, a message by the theater thanks long-time patrons.
“We want to thank everyone who has visited this theater over the years, and we hope you will continue to support cinema long after our departure,” the post says.
“All gift cards and advance tickets will be honored through April 3rd. If you have purchased an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema gift card and would like a refund, please visit the box office.”
January 24, 2017
From the Santa Fe New Mexican: The six-screen UA DeVargas movie theater will shut down this month, leaving a hole in both the north-side DeVargas Center mall and the Santa Fe cinema scene that mall management and theater operators say they hope to see filled quickly. The theater’s manager refused repeated requests for comment about the venue’s demise after four decades, referring all questions to Regal Entertainment Group corporate offices in Knoxville, Tenn., where multiple phone messages seeking comment this week went unreturned. But the mall’s property manager, Katy Fitzgerald, confirmed that the DeVargas Center and Regal will part ways soon. The theater’s final screenings, she said, will be Sunday. The DeVargas Center will redevelop the 14,700-square-foot space — which has housed a movie theater since 1977 — over the next six months as part of a larger overhaul intended to make the mall’s exterior facing North Guadalupe Street more pedestrian-friendly, Fitzgerald said. As important, she added, is how a new tenant — not necessarily a theater — will mesh with the mall’s interior, which has been livelier since a flock of local businesses began migrating from Sanbusco Market Center in late 2015 after the New Mexico School for the Arts purchased that complex next to the Railyard. “We loved our theater customers, and we’ll be sad to see that go,” Fitzgerald said, “but I’m not really that concerned as far as how that affects the direction we’ve been heading in with our Sanbusco tenants and with the inside of the mall.” UA DeVargas is the second long-term tenant to leave the DeVargas Center in recent months: Hastings, part of the entertainment-media and books retail chain, went out of business last fall. But the losses won’t stall the mall’s momentum, Fitzgerald said; rather, in her view, those spaces facing North Guadalupe Street are in dire need of rejuvenation. The aim, she said, is to make that area of the mall as “open and inviting and local” as the section that fronts Paseo de Peralta. In diagnosing the demise of the DeVargas theater, several in the local cinema scene identified Violet Crown as a factor. The 11-screen Railyard venue opened in May 2015 and offers a full restaurant menu as well as an extensive beer and wine list. Peter Grendle, general manager at Violet Crown, said his theater and UA DeVargas “split the field” of film options, operating in a middle ground between a major blockbuster atmosphere and one of art-house chic. But the stakes have been raised: Moviegoers now want and expect more from a night out at the movies than the movie itself, he said, and thriving theaters have taken steps to accommodate the changing appetites of their audience. “The rule used to be, ‘Stay home for dinner, go out for entertainment,’” Grendle said. “Now you go out for dinner, stay home for entertainment. … My goal here is to be a hospitality venue, to make the movie theater an experience.” Far from crowing about a competitor’s closure, Grendle nonetheless sounded an optimistic note. “I think it’s a good thing for the little guys, for sure,” Grendle said, referencing The Screen on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus where he booked films for nine years before moving to Violet Crown. “It opens the field a little bit. Pretend you have five boxers in a ring, and one gets taken out. Life will change after that. The question on my mind is what is [Regal’s] next step, if any.” The theater chain’s Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14 on the city’s south side is not far from the Santa Fe Place mall, where the company once operated a pair of theaters when that mall was known as Villa Linda. Recent signage there has advertised Regal as a new tenant. However, messages left for Santa Fe Place management asking about any plans to bring a theater back to the shopping center off Rodeo Road were not immediately returned. Grendle said he would dispute the notion that Santa Fe is oversaturated with movie screens. The City Different, he remembers one film distributor telling him, has one of the best box offices in the nation, a market where films that close in one week elsewhere might run for three. Grendle chalks it up to eclectic tastes of the local moviegoing crowd. Jason Silverman, director of Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque, agrees that the DeVargas closure is not indicative of the state of moviegoing in Santa Fe. The CCA Cinematheque, for instance, is entering its 35th year, he said, and this past year was its best ever. The DeVargas theater’s disappearance from the local scene won’t much affect that, he said. “We don’t really think about fighting for titles,” Silverman said. “We play the films that we love.” But, Silverman said, “each time there’s a change, each time a venue arrives or leaves, the algorithm changes a little bit.” Elias Gallegos, who works for George R.R. Martin, the local author and owner of the Jean Cocteau Cinema in the Railyard, said the DeVargas closing is “something that we’re all kind of sad to hear about, and, you know, we wonder what’s next for that space.” He went on, “Who knows? Maybe George will be interested in more screens here in town,” referencing Martin’s 2013 purchase and restoration of the single-screen Cocteau. “We never say never here.” Of the seven films screening at UA DeVargas on Tuesday, four (Collateral Beauty, Jackie, Nocturnal Animals and The Eagle Huntress) were available at no other theater in Santa Fe. Mary Peters, on her way into the theater Tuesday to see The Eagle Huntress, said she drives down from Española specifically for UA DeVargas. The selection of films at the Dreamcatcher 10 doesn’t quite do it for her. “Ah, that’s too bad,” she said of the impending closure. “I’m bummed.” After UA DeVargas is gone, she said, “Violet Crown will probably be the next choice.” Anne Steele, bound for The Eagle Huntress with her grandchildren, was crestfallen when asked about the theater’s closing: “Oh, no, I’m really upset.” The UA DeVargas and CCA are her go-to spots, and she doesn’t like the Regal 14 on the city’s south side because she finds the audio there is too loud. The UA DeVargas, she said, has always been a “more humane experience, as opposed to a sensational experience out there.” David Morrell, a Santa Fe author, said that since he and his wife moved to Santa Fe in 1992, they have frequented the DeVargas theater more than any other. “If there was a unique film that we really wanted to see, we knew it would be at DeVargas,” Morrell wrote in an email. “Sad to see it close.”
January 17, 2017
From the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle: No word on how many employees will lose their jobs or if they will be offered work at another Cinemark property, the Tinseltown USA and IMAX in Gates.
The Brighton movie complex stood out from other theaters that offered reserved adult tickets for $12.49, reclining seats and larger format screens. . Four tickets to an evening screening of the animated film Storks at Movies 10 went for about $17.50 last weekend.
January 14, 2017
From SIlive.com: After more than 25 years in operation, the UA Hylan Plaza and Toys R Us/Babies R Us will be closing by Jan. 31 to make way for the new $150 million Boulevard shopping mall.
Both stores are among several that have leases expiring this month, said Joshua Weinkranz, president, northeast region of Kimco Realty, the owner of the shopping center.
Stores in Hylan Plaza will be closing as leases expire to make way for the summer construction start of the 356,000-square-foot shopping center that will house 60 retailers in a multi-level “Main Street” format.
While both Toys R Us/Babies R Us and the movie theater have announced the closures, several retailers may opt for short-term leases until construction commences, said Weinkranz.
“We are in the process of working out short-term extensions with them because we don’t have the entitlements yet. If some of these tenants want to stay for four or five months, we’ll work that out with them,” he said.
TOYS R US CLOSURE
Said Candace Disler, a Toys R Us spokeswoman: “We have enjoyed serving the Staten Island community and will continue to operate a number of stores in the area, throughout the state of New York, including a Toys R Us located at 2845 Richmond Ave. in Staten Island,”
In addition, a Toys R Us outlets store will be opening in Empire Outlets, when New York City’s first outlet mall opens in St. George in November.
Regal Entertainment didn’t respond to queries for comment regarding the movie theater closure.
ALWAYS A MOVIE THEATER
For most of Hylan Plaza’s existence since the mid-1960s, it has housed a movie theater. It was formerly Fox Plaza before Regal Entertainment opened the UA in the 1990s.
And once the Boulevard is up and running, there will be a new movie theater.
“The Boulevard will have a great theater, along with a fitness center, a great mix of other general merchandise retailers, restaurants and service tenants,” said Weinkranz.
“Over the next several weeks and months we will be able to announce the tenants.”
After filing plans with the City Planning Department in 2015, Kimco Realty Corp. began the mandated Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for the shopping mall in September.
Part of that process is an Environmental Impact Statement, which will need to be certified before construction starts.
January 7, 2017
Douglaston, Queens, NY – Douglaston Macy’s and movie theater to move out, Lowe’s Home Improvement looking to move in
From QNS.com: There are some big retail changes coming to Douglaston in the new year.
Douglaston Plaza shopping center, located at 242-02 61st Ave. at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Cross Island Parkway, is losing its Macy’s department store and the MovieWorld movie theater, but gaining a big box home improvement retailer.
December 22, 2016
From KARE11.com: The Mall of America will close its movie theaters next week to make room for a new “entertainment experience,” according to mall officials.
The 14-screen theater has been a fixture of the mall, which has owned the space for the last eight years, occupying a large portion of the fourth floor. Previous to the mall’s ownership, it was a General Cinema theater.
Here’s the full statement released by the Mall of America on Thursday: Over the past 24 years Mall of America has continually transformed, evolved and refreshed itself. After a successful eight-year run, Theatres at Mall of America will close at the end of day on December 28, 2016 to make way for a new, first-to-market entertainment venue which will open in late 2017. All current theatre employees remain a valuable part of our team and have been offered positions within Mall of America. More information on the new venue will be released in early January. The Theatres at MOA also confirmed the news earlier this week, replying to fans on Twitter asking why the theater wasn’t showing the new “Star Wars: Rogue One.”
December 19, 2016
From WITN.com: A movie theater in the east has closed its doors after 40 years in business.
Carmike Cinema 7, located on Washington St. in Washington, announced on their facebook page today that they are closed.
Officials with the theater say they were not allowed to advertise the closing and that it did come as a surprise to all who worked there.
Cinema 7 officials say while a Carmike Theatre won’t return to Washington, they are in talks with an independent theatre company that they hope will take over.
In the message Cinema 7 thanked everyone for their 40 years of patronage and have high hopes that they will reopen, in the meantime, the Carmike Cinema Theatre in Greenville remains open.
October 30, 2016
From Screen Crush: My friends, thank you all for coming here today to say goodbye. The Pavilion is gone.
The theater will be transformed into an arthouse by the owners of Williamsburg’s outstanding Nitehawk Cinema. Today was supposed to be its last day; as of lunchtime yesterday, the theater was still selling tickets for screenings on its website. Then, suddenly, all the screenings vanished. A moving truck showed up outside the theater. The building’s metal shutters were brought down. And just like that the Worst Theater Ever was no more. We never even got to say goodbye. (Or to tell them to correct the spelling of “MIDLLE SCHOOL.” [On both sides of the marquee.])
It was an anticlimactic end for a movie theater, but a fitting one in this case, for this was the Pavilion, a theater that somehow turned gross and persistent incompetence into a functioning business model for well over a decade. Alexander Pope famously wrote “to err is human, to forgive divine.” If that is true, then the Pavilion was the most human movie theater that ever existed, and its customer base was borderline godly.
A lot of you only knew the Pavilion after its health started failing. You should have seen it when it was younger. It was beautiful. It was born in 1996, the child of an old movie house, the Sanders, that lived and died on the same corner as the Pavilion, at 14th Street and Prospect Park West. In its youth, the Pavilion was a local favorite. Back then, no one in Park Slope had a bad thing to say about it.
Things took a turn after the Pavilion’s radical surgery in the mid-2000s. It was diagnosed with a terminal disease of not enough screens, so its three auditoriums were split into nine of varying size. Looking back now, that was the beginning of the end. The Pavilion soldiered on, but it was never the same again. Ownership changed and the new people in charge took less and less interest in the Pavilion’s upkeep. By the late 2000s the place was a shell of its former self. The people who loved it will tell you it was hard to watch.
There’s another old expression, this one not by Alexander Pope, that warns never to speak ill of the dead. And so it would be inappropriate of me to list some of the Pavilion’s many, many, many flaws, issues, and problems here. It would be wrong, for example, to go to the theater’s Yelp page, where it had the lowest rating of any theater in New York City, and pull excerpts from the hundreds (literally hundreds) of one-star reviews.
I choose to focus on the good times and not the bad, like the occasion where a customer was told their debit card was declined, while the clerk repeatedly charged them for snacks they never received.
That’s an honest mistake; it could happen to anyone. The same goes for the screens that were dirty, ripped, or broken, sometimes for years. A lot of movie theaters have screens that are cracked “as if someone punched it.”
The Pavilion got forgetful later in life. This is just what happens when you get older. I sometimes forget where I left my keys. The Pavilion forgot when it was showing movies. Or it would advertise showings that didn’t exist, or blame the screw-ups on ticketing websites like Fandango.
At the end it got so bad, the Pavilion even thought it had an IMAX screen. The poor thing was delusional.
Those of you with seniors in their lives know how rough those last days can get. The Pavilion lived so long, its body literally began to fall apart.
Temperature was always an issue. In the summer, it was too hot.
In the winter, it was too cold.
Or sometimes the heat worked, and no one bothered to turn it on.
The customers weren’t the only ones who froze; the movies froze too. (I personally witnessed this happen during a screening of The Other Guys.)
And when the popcorn machine worked, the water fountain didn’t.
There were other water troubles. When it rained outside, it rained inside.
At least we hoped that was rain:
Of course, you probably heard the complaints about bed bugs. Rumors and supposed sightings of the critters plagued the Pavilion all through its later years. To be honest, I always thought these were overblown; a lot of hearsay with little evidence.
There were definitely rats though.
It’s not all the Pavilion’s fault. Sometimes the customers were just absurdly demanding!
Just because you saw a rat (okay, two rats) you want your money back? You already watched 20 minutes of the movie! That’s almost a third! People can be such freeloaders.
At the very end, the Pavilion even lost control of its bowels. It was just ugly.
Euthanasia is illegal in this country. But I tell you this, my friends: Seeing what became of our Pavilion, I wished it wasn’t. Someone needed to put this poor suffering creature out of its misery.
The Pavilion was finally put out of its misery yesterday. It will no longer have to endure customers and their ridiculous complaints about the lack of air conditioning or heat or toilet stall doors. It won’t have to hear people demand their money back just because their seat was broken, or the floor was sticky, or there were absolutely no lights on in the auditorium before the movie began, forcing them to fumble in the dark with their iPhone flashlights, or the film projector was so caked in dust it looked like it hadn’t been serviced since Thomas Edison was alive. It won’t have to call the cops on a diabetic who tried to bring fruit in to the theater. Fruit! Can you believe it? What a world.
Yesterday, I wrote a consumer guide to good movie theater projection; what every theater should do to give their customers their money’s worth. It was 1500 words long, and included excerpts from a lengthy interview with an expert on theatrical presentation. If I wanted to save time, I could have just written “Look at the Pavilion, then do the opposite.” Back in 2012, I called it “the worst theater ever.” Some people thought I was being hyperbolic; surely, somewhere, they must be a worse movie theater than the Pavilion.
There wasn’t. If there is a hell, the Pavilion is now serving customers there. They won’t even have to get the air conditioner serviced.
Full story, with patron reviews: Remembering the Worst Movie Theater Ever | http://screencrush.com/rip-the-pavilion-the-worst-theater-ever/?trackback=tsmclip
October 27, 2016
From The Daily Star: A Halloween bash at the Oneonta Theatre on Friday will be the venue’s last event, at least for now, the owner said Wednesday.
Thomas Cormier, who has owned the Chestnut St. property for seven years, said, despite his best efforts, he cannot afford to keep the historic building open.
Living 45 minutes away from the venue and juggling a full-time job and a family, there’s not enough time and energy left over for all of the work that goes into operating and maintaining the theater on the side, booking shows and preparing for events, he said. And it’s expensive.
“Temperatures are dropping,” said Cormier, of Burlington Flats, “and, once you turn the heat on in this building, you just can’t sell enough tickets or beer to keep up.”
The 27,000-square-foot building is for sale for $925,000, but that price is flexible, Cormier said, and he’s encouraging area arts groups and nonprofits to contact him with ideas. The property is not listed with a real estate agency.
“Nothing is off the table right now. I’m open to anything, a long-term lease or, if the right group came to me, split and donate. Any way this beautiful old venue can stay a part of this community,” Cormier said. “I’ve tried keeping it open so I could find a group to come in and take over. But it’s been a long time and I haven’t found that. This is my passion, I just can’t do it by myself anymore.”
As the seller, Cormier has been approached by several interested groups. People “mean well, but nobody can really step up and take the reins,” he said.
“I had an offer a year-and-a-half ago, but I turned it down,” Cormier said. “I didn’t want to see the building knocked down. My main concern is to find a future for it.”
Phone messages left for the Friends of the Oneonta Theatre, a group formed in 2008 to preserve the historic site, were not returned by Wednesday night; Cormier said the group is defunct.
GOING OUTWITH A BANG
Cormier said the theater will go out the same way it came in under his management: with good, local entertainment.
Electro-rock group Jimkata, a nationally touring band whose members are from Oneonta, is headlining the show, which will kick off at 7 p.m. and run until midnight. Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
The band’s frontman, Evan Friedell, 30, told The Daily Star on Tuesday that he grew up visiting the venue with his mother, a makeup designer and actress. Friedell met bandmates Aaron Gorsch and Packy Lunn in middle school in Oneonta, he said.
“I have vivid memories of walking around while she was working on shows and other things there, going backstage and that kind of thing,” Friedell said. “The first time we came back to play there, it was kind of a trip. That was an early indicator for us that, if we could get this kind of a reaction in Oneonta, I think we could do this everywhere. And now we have fans across the U.S. who come to our shows and know all the words and are wearing our T-shirts.”
Friedell said he had no idea the theater was set to close, but it doesn’t surprise him.
“It’s a big venue in a small town,” he said. “It was built for another time, and trying to put 700 people in seats now is tough. It definitely reflects what’s going on nationally. We see clubs come and go all the time, some places that we really like. The whole industry is struggling with this. …We’ve played probably between six and 10 shows there. Oneonta is our hometown, ultimately, so it always feels pretty good — like coming home.”
A LOOK BACK
Cormier bought the building in July 2009, and a year later, he opened it for business. He was shopping for commercial property in Oneonta, and saw potential in the complex, he said.
After-purchase improvements included removing mold, fixing water problems, upgrading plumbing and electrical systems and bringing the building up to code, he said.
“A lot of treasure, blood, sweat and tears went into this,” Cormier said. “It still needs more restoration, but it’s safe now. It has all the proper fire safety.”
According to Otsego County Real Property Service, the property’s assessed value is $375,000.
The Oneonta Theatre was built in 1897 and hosted vaudeville acts, movies and other performances. The walls are decorated with curtain murals. The property is listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
For years, the theater screened first-run movies on a regular schedule, was the stage for Orpheus Theatre shows and more recently has presented musicians, holiday movies and film series. Decades ago, graduation ceremonies were held inside the cavernous venue.
The theater has presented hundreds of concerts and other performances, according to Cormier. Some of his favorite memories have been of Steve Earle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Blue Öyster Cult, Kansas, Little Feat, and The Radiators, he said.
The old building has seen “tons of icons,” Cormier said.
“Blue Öyster Cult in 2011 was a fantastic show. It did well all-around,” he said. “My personal favorite was Little Feat. And we’ve had many, many memorable plays, as well. ‘Always … Patsy Cline’ and ‘Frankenstein.’ Even just some of the local talent that’s gotten up there on the stages. … I’ve met thousands and thousands of people and watched them walk out of the place smiling. That has been very gratifying.”