September 8, 2011
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May 27, 2011
VISTA, CA — UltraStar Cinemas is closing three of its theaters in southern California. The Flower Hill 4 in Del Mar will be shut down in July. The Del Mar Highland 8, which closed in January supposedly for renovation, will not be reopening after all. The Carlsbad 6 in La Costa was closed earlier this month. UltraStar says that the leases on these theaters, which it acquired from The Edwards chain, were underperforming and that the leases on them were expiring.
Others in the industry claim high ticket prices have led to the theaters' demise. At $13 a ticket for a 3-D movie, many believe that a movie night out has been made unaffordable for most families.
The full story appeared in the San Diego Reader.
May 12, 2011
TOWSON, MD — Once one of the most prestigious theaters in the greater Baltimore area, the AMC Towson Commons 8 will close on May 15. Opened in 1992 by General Cinema, the theater’s fortunes have declined along with the retail area of which it is a part.
For years the three-story shopping center at York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue has been vacant but for the movie theater, which has struggled since theaters with stadium seating opened at Hunt Valley and White Marsh. The center once housed a Borders Books & Music, a craft gallery and several restaurants.
Nancy Hafford, executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, said she hoped the decision by the owner, a subsidiary of New York-based Capmark Finance Inc., would be good news for the future. While new restaurants and apartments have been opening all around Towson Commons, Hafford said, the large empty space has drained some of the life out of the center of town.
The announcement of the closing appeared in the Baltimore Sun.
May 11, 2011
DETROIT, MI — Unable to come to terms with their landlord over the rent, the operators of the independent Burton Theatre which opened in 2009 abruptly closed the cinema down on May 2. The small art and independent theater had operated in the auditorium of a former Detroit school building. The owners hope to reopen a facility elsewhere There are stories here and here.
SEATTLE, WA — The owner of the Columbia City Cinema has abandoned any further efforts to keep the triplex open and closed it as of May 5. Over the last year or so, a number of ventures to raise additional funds were advanced to keep the cinema open. The City of Seattle had demanded that a sprinkler system be installed and other improvements made to bring the theater, located in a former Masonic Hall, into compliance with building code requirements. There is more in the Seattle Times.
April 29, 2011
MT. PROSPECT, IL — The AMC Randhurst 12 opens on April 29 as part of the newly remodeled Randhurst Shopping Center, newly dubbed as Randhurst Village, which reflects its transformation from an enclosed indoor mall to an outdoor retail center. At the same time, the nearby AMC Randhurst 16 closed, after only operating for about thirteen years.
The new movie theater has 48,000 square feet, 12 auditoriums and 1,800 seats. The auditoriums range in size from seating capacities of 85 to 223. The smaller auditoriums will be conductive to art-house niche films, while the larger ones will be used for mainstream blockbusters, theater officials said.
The $200 million Randhurst renovation is being overseen by developer Castro Lifestyle Properties. The next site to open at the mixed-use development is scheduled to be a Hampton Suites Hotel, slated for an August debut.
There is more news about the new megaplex here.