May 19, 2017
From Curbed NY: New York City is about to lose another independent cinema. Rumors have been swirling for years that Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street would be redeveloped, and now, the New York Post reports that it’s a done deal. According to the paper, developers East End Capital and K Property Group closed a $31.5 million deal for the movie theater, with plans to redevelop it into “a mixed-use development with retail and upstairs office space.”
Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema opened in 2001 in a building that had served as a theater for more than a century, first for vaudeville acts and then for film screenings. But the theater has been in trouble for a few years now, and was dealt a blow in 2012 when the local community board voted against a plan that would have allowed the cinema to serve food and drinks.
March 24, 2017
From Live5News.com: One of James Island’s oldest movie theaters is closed to the public for good, according to the Assistant Manager of the theater.
Carmike James Island 8 located off Central Park Road showed its last films to movie goers Thursday night.
“We got the info that yesterday was our last day,” said the assistant manager who identified himself as Charles.
According to the Carmike theater website, which is a subsidy of AMC theaters, there are no show times listed for the theater this weekend. Show times on Fandango are not listed either.
“There was a lot of background chaos that went on,” Charles said.
City of Charleston documents show the property was sold to a developer to build a multi-family apartment complex.
At a Design Review Board meeting earlier this month, the renderings were denied based on comments from the board regarding building placement and setback from Central Park Road and Up on the Hill Road.
Messages for comment from AMC Theaters management was not immediately returned.
March 9, 2017
From the Register-Star: Fairview Plaza Cinema 3 has been a go-to destination for movie fans for 44 years, but despite all of his efforts to keep it open, owner Bruce Mitchinson has decided to close the theater. The theater will continue to show the Oscar-nominated film “Lion” until closing day March 19, but Mitchinson is working on bringing in other films to make the last weekend special, he said. “I’m going to miss my loyal customers, but it is just not feasible to continue,” he said. Mitchinson was born and raised in Hudson, graduating from Hudson High School and then attending Columbia-Greene Community College and graduating in 1972. From there, he planned to go into accounting, but got a summer job as manager at the old Hudson Studio Theater, which was located on upper Fairview Avenue where the Walmart Supercenter is, he said. From that point he never left the theater business, Mitchinson said. He is the third generation to get into the movie theater business. His grandmother worked in the box office at the Playhouse Theatre, which was on Warren Street, and his father was a longtime projectionist, working in several theaters in Hudson, including the Community Theatre, Warren Theater and The Strand, as well as in Kingston, he said. Mitchinson would hang out in the projection room while his father was working, he said. Brandt Theaters owned Hudson Studio and was then bought out by the Klein brothers, who also owned several area drive-ins, Mitchinson said. While still managing the Hudson Studio, he took over management of Cinema 3, “going back and forth between theaters” he said. Hudson Studio closed over 20 years ago. Mitchinson took over ownership of Cinema 3 18 years ago and had been running three screens until four years ago, when movie theaters were mandated to go digital, he said. Customers and Friends of Cinema 3 held a fundraiser to help the theater upgrade, but he was only able to purchase one digital projector, he said. This meant the theater went from operating three screens to one. Some years ago, Mitchinson also started showing more independent films. Operating one digital screen and tougher competition made it hard on the theater, he said. “The conversion to digital projection was particularly difficult for many independent movie theaters and [Cinema 3 has] essentially been operating as a single screen for a couple of years now,” said Fred Ulrich, board president of Chatham Film Club, which owns and operates the Crandell Theatre in Chatham. “We can relate to the unique programming challenges that a single screen presents.” “There is also a change in the movie industry and people are watching in different ways,” Mitchinson said. The industry is also “closing the window down,” meaning many movies are available before they are out of the theaters, he added. “It’s difficult to compete.” Another factor in his decision to close is his lease, which expired close to three years ago, Mitchinson said. He was unable to renegotiate a renewal with Fairview Plaza owners and has been operating month to month. The plaza owners will decide what to do with the space, he said. Tia Marx from Trinity Realty Group, the property manager of Fairview Plaza, said it is “too soon to say anything about the space.” The space is 8,000 square feet and is for lease, according to a flyer posted on the company’s website. Anyone interested in learning more about it can call Meredith Poole at 518-429-5093. Mitchinson’s staff was small but loyal and included Doreen Baretsky and Cathy Draffin working concessions and Ralph Jordan, the longtime theater manager, he said. “He made it easy for me,” Mitchinson said of Jordan, who retired last year. Hudson Movieplex owner Kevin Mullin called Mitchinson a gentleman, saying he “never viewed him as competition,” but rather “complementary” to business. Mullin made Mitchinson an offer a year and a half ago to buy him out, he said. Today, Hudson Movieplex 8 is looking into the possibility of expanding its space in Columbia Center. Time & Space Limited founder Linda Mussmann, a neighbor and friend of Mitchinson, didn’t see Cinema 3 as a competitor to her Hudson space, she said. “We never tried to upstage or compete,” she said, adding that TSL shows alternative films and independent films not shown mainstream. Mussmann said in general, people likely patronized both businesses. “People who love movies will go anywhere,” she said. Mitchinson is dedicated to cinema and the movies, Mussmann said. “He certainly loved what he did.” “It is sad to see another theater go, but it may draw people up from Hudson to Chatham,” said Annie Brody, executive director of Chatham Film Club. The Crandell is “very strong, membership is strong, FilmColumbia is strong,” she said. “The Chatham Film Club remains committed to keeping the Crandell Theatre open and showing movies year-round,” Ulrich said. “On a personal level, as a film lover, I am disappointed that this will leave only two dedicated movie theaters in Columbia County,” he said. Once the theater closes March 19, Mitchinson will work on liquidating the contents of the theater, he said. After that, he said he has no immediate plans. This is “kind of dramatic because I haven’t done anything else but this,” he said. “I’m going to take it one step at a time.” Mitchinson said he will announce plans for the final weekend on the theater website, www.fairviewcinema3.com, and in his regular newspaper ad.
From Columbus Underground: After exactly one decade of showing films to the dine-and-watch crowd, Movie Tavern is turning off the lights at their Hilliard location at 3773 Ridge Mill Drive at Mill Run. Fans of the theater have just one more month to catch a movie there before it closes.
March 5, 2017
Westwood Village, LA, CA – The Classic Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood Is Closing After 50 Years
From Los Angeles Magazine: The owners of the Landmark Regent Theatre in Westwood have submitted paperwork to convert the 50-year-old movie house on Broxton Avenue into two restaurants. The neighborhood, once bustling with movie houses and a popular place for splashy premieres, now has three remaining theaters: The Bruin, the Fox, and iPic on Wilshire Boulevard.
The Regent was built as retail stores in the 1940s and was a warehouse when Laemmle remodeled it into “L.A.’s Most Beautiful Intimate Theatre” in September 1966. They played art pictures into the 1970s when Mann Theaters, who ran the Fox and the Chinese in Hollywood, acquired it. The Regent upped their cinematic game when Landmark took over in 2002, but this was never a movie palace and the neighborhood seems to have lost interest in movies.
In the last decade or so the Avco Cinema was converted into the iPic, and the Crest, Festival, Plaza, National, Mann 4, and UA Westwood have all gone out of business. People might have shifted their viewing habits, but they’re still hungry. Almost all the former theater sites now house restaurants.
February 24, 2017
From the Springfield News-Sun: The Upper Valley Mall Cinema 5’s screens went dark permanently Monday night after entertaining customers in Springfield for nearly five decades. The movie theater had fewer than a dozen employees, said Philip Chakeres, president and chief executive officer of Chakeres Theatres.
The decision to close the theater is the latest blow to the mall, which has been hit with a steady stream of bad news from national retailers leaving the aging shopping center.
From mcdowellnews.com: The Marion Event Center is no longer operating and a “for sale” sign is now in the front window of the old House Theater building.
In May of 2014, Mike Cinquanto and his mother and stepfather, Esther and Doug Williams, started working to restore the old theater at 90 E. Court St. and operate it as the Marion Event Center. They did extensive renovations to the interior and fixed up the restrooms. Over time, the family removed layers of Formica, plaster, chipped paint and mold from the structure. They restored the interior so it would resemble a nightclub from the 1950s, according to an article in June 2015.
“We would like to use it as a rental for weddings, anniversaries and class reunions,” said Cinquanto in June 2015. “We want to make it available for things like company Christmas parties and corporate parties. I’m hoping to get the Board of Realtors to come down here and use it for their Christmas party. We just want to get the community back in here.”
They had also planned to restore the exterior and have the marquee and neon sign restored to its former glory.
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.”