Closings

  • April 6, 2010

    Chicago’s Lakeshore Theater closes on April 10

    CHICAGO, IL — The Lakeshore Theater, which most recently has served as a live performance venue for comedy and other acts, will close on April 10. Originally opened in 1914, it became a part of the Balaban & Katz chain. It was later operated by Cineplex Odeon as the Broadway Cinema before closing in 2002, as one of the last ( if not the last) of Chicago’s neighborhood single-screen theaters to close. Its future is at best uncertain, as substantial upgrades are needed to its physical plant.

    What I had initially hoped was an April Fool’s Day joke was in fact a sad truth, The Lakeshore Theater announced last night via twitter, Facebook and a heartfelt email that it will close permanently on April 10.

    According to owner Chris Ritter, “Although revenues have been growing year after year, and the Lakeshore brand of great comedy, music and good times has been successfully established, our revenues are simply insufficient to fund ongoing operations and the plant improvements that would be required to continue and take the business to the next level of success.”

    There is a story here in Time Out.

  • March 30, 2010

    North Carolina’s Bright Leaf Drive-in closes

    MOUNT AIRY, NC — After fifty-five years, the Bright Leaf Drive-in has closed. According the theater’s website, all of the equipment is for sale.

    The drive-in theater on North Andy Griffith Parkway was closed last weekend. The owner of the land where the drive-in is located decided not to renew the lease with the current theater owners.

    “It is our understanding that the land is going to be sold and there they will no more drive-in,” the Web site says.

    Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal.

  • March 10, 2010

    After seventy-four years, Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill theater closes

    PITTSBURGH, PA — It has been a fixture on Forward Avenue for over seven decades, but the Squirrel Hill Theater is now closed. Unable to compete with newer theaters, the owner is reluctantly compelled to shut it down.

    Mr. Stern added that the Manor remains profitable and is not in jeopardy of going dark. “It remains the premier specialized film venue in Pittsburgh. We will explore other alternatives and opportunities to fill the void in the market caused by closing the six screens at the Squirrel Hill Theater.”

    The Squirrel Hill Theater’s future had been further jeopardized by a proposed real estate deal and the closing of Poli’s around the corner also reduced foot traffic.

    Here’s the story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

  • March 9, 2010

    Cincinnatti Mall cinema closes

    CINCINNATI, OH — After being taken over by Rave Cinemas recently, the Showcase Cinemas in the Mills mall has closed.

    In the year since new owners bought the 1.6 million-square-foot Cincinnati Mills, renamed it Cincinnati Mall and announced plans to redevelop it, the center has lost a dozen tenants and fallen delinquent on its property taxes.

    The theater on the mall’s second level showed its last films Sunday. Guess Factory Outlet, Lane Bryant Outlet and Treehouse Kids also closed their stores in recent months.

    Read more at Cincinnati.com.

  • Parkway Cinemas to close in May

    BLOOMINGTON, IL — The eight-screen Carmike Parkway Cinemas has been open for only twenty years, but according to this article, the theater is “at the end of useful life” and that the opening of newer megaplexes in the area have resulted in more screens than the marketing area can support.

    Despite Hollywood’s record 10 billion ticket sales in 2009, a market the size of Bloomington-Normal can’t support the number of existing screens, Champion said.

    The current total, 55, is the most for any downstate Illinois market. With the Parkway’s closure, the count will still remain high, at 47.

    Read more in the Pantagraph.

    [ed. note- Has the public’s desire for amenities made 20 years the standard lifetime of a theater these days? Or were the theaters of that era unremarkable? Was stadium seating the ultimate game changer?]

  • February 18, 2010

    Wapa Theater closing; may become live performance venue

    WAPAKONETA, OH — For over a century, the Wapa Theatre has been providing entertainment to this northwest Ohio community, first as a vaudeville house and then as a cinema. Now a non-profit group wants to turn the Wapa, born as the Brown Theater, into a place for live and digital performances after its scheduled closing in March.

    According to an agenda for the group’s first meeting, they want to
    “introduce a plan that will enrich our whole community by revitalizing the Brown Theater to its original purpose — the performing arts.”

    Frey, who serves as production manager, said it may take the support of the local community to accomplish this, but right now its the only option to keep the building open. There have been no other reported offers once the movie theater closes next month.

    Initial plans for the non-profit include reopening the building as a live performance theater, which seats 620 people, by the end of March. The group would lease the space from theater owner and local attorney Robert Wiesenmayer.

    The full story is in the Wapakoneta Daily News.

  • February 4, 2010

    Castle Theatre to close for first time

    NEW CASTLE, IN — The Castle Theatre closed Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010, as Kerasotes did not renew its lease, a condition it has not been subjected to since its opening in 1935. Some of its original Vitrolite facade remains and much of its interior is original. For those of us who did not grow up with a Paradise or Uptown in our neighborhoods, the Castle was just fine. Here’s hoping that it will not be closed long and that we can tour it in June during the 2010 Hoosier Heartland Conclave with THSA.

    favorite movies at the Castle.

    Amy Glaser, State Farm Insurance agent, and lifelong resident of New Castle, said she went to the theater as a child, and now her own teenage daughter goes to the movies there.

    “The Castle closing is very sad,” Glaser said. “It’s been a part of New Castle for a long time. My parents went to the Castle Theater. My kids go there, I’ve grown up there. It will be very missed in town.”

    Note the link to the video news clip as well.

  • January 12, 2010

    Regal closing multiplex near Myrtle Beach, SC

    MURRELLS INLET, SC — Regal Entertainment announced the closing of its twelve-screen theater in the Inlet Square Mall, south of Myrtle Beach. The theater chain claims that announced improvements to the mall were not made; the mall’s previous owner claims that Regal owes back rent.

    The final day of operation for Regal Inlet Square 12 will be this Sunday, said Russ Nunley, vice president of marketing & communications for Regal Entertainment Group.

    “We regret that our landlord’s announced improvements to the mall have not come to fruition,” he said. “Regal has terminated the lease due to the negative impact on our business from the stalled renovation project for the mall.”

    Inlet Square has been in mid construction since late 2007, when a $4.5 million renovation stopped abruptly.

    There’s more in the Sun News.

  • January 8, 2010

    Senate Theatre closes

    DETROIT, MI — The Senate Theatre is now closed. The Detroit Theatre Organ Society could no longer afford to operate the theatre and has ended organ concerts at the Senate. The building is now for sale. The DTOS is looking for a new home for the Mighty Wurlitzer that was moved to the Senate from the Fisher Theatre 45 years ago. A sad story indeed.

  • December 9, 2009

    Dallas Theatre closes

    DALLASTOWN, PA — The current owners gave it a go, but low attendance and other factors have forced the Dallas Theater to close. The theater opened in 1927.

    Dallastown didn’t know it was without a movie theater once again.

    On Tuesday afternoon, film titles still lined the Dallas Theatre’s Main Street marquee. Last weekend’s showtimes hung out front. The only hint of a goodbye was a handwritten thank-you sign in the lobby beyond the locked doors.

    Some residents knew things weren’t going well.

    Read the whole story in the York Daily Record.