Wehrenberg Theatres shopping for a buyer

posted by CSWalczak on December 17, 2007 at 10:49 am

One of the oldest motion picture exhibitors in the country and the major theater owner and operator in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Wehrenberg Theatres, is looking to be bought out.

Although the company is financially sound and is expanding, uncertainties surrounding motion picture exhibition is prompting the company to look for a suitor.

Read the complete article here.

Comments (17)

JodarMovieFan on December 17, 2007 at 1:38 pm

It would be a shame if this local chain gets gobbled up by the likes of a Regal or AMC. We all have less than positive experiences at the aforementioned and that their further expansion would be bad for Missourians.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on December 17, 2007 at 3:21 pm

All they gotta do is convert a few more theatres into digital projection and that’ll take care of those “uncertainties.” No need to sell their legacy to a company like Regal who couldn’t care less about such a thing!

quasimodo on December 17, 2007 at 7:14 pm

The “uncertainties” have less to do with the digital transition than economic forces and the changing face of the movie and entertainment industry. Sumner Redstone also reacted to these changes, suggesting that conventional theatres were on their “last reel”.

Wehrenberg is a prominent regional circuit with good properties in good markets and this move should be construed as an indication that trouble looms on the horizon for many theatres and circuits. If that is in fact the case, better to be the first out than the last one holding the bag.

JohnMessick on December 17, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Could also be that the family has found out what the company might be worth and might like to take the money and run.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on December 17, 2007 at 10:51 pm

I’m sure Cinemark would probably love to add Wehrenberg to their screen count, and it would fill in a geographical gap in their map of the US. Though I’m sure Wehrenberg is also attractive to AMC and Regal as well. The question is: Who has money left to buy anything?

AMC bought Loews.
Cinemark bought Century.
Kerasotes bought Colorado Cinemas.
Carmike bought GKC.
Reading is buying Pacific/Consolidated.

It looks like Regal is probably the only one left who hasn’t bought anything recently.

JodarMovieFan on December 17, 2007 at 11:36 pm

I think Regal bought out Hoyts here in this area and from the looks of it, UA and Edwards.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on December 18, 2007 at 12:54 am

I dont see any change in the near future in movie going….3rd year of attendance up look good!

rcdalek on December 18, 2007 at 8:21 am

Regal’s primary fincial backers have enough money to buy what they want. Even though they have bought many companies including the original Regal Cinemas, Act III, Cobb, UA, Edwards, RC, Hoyts US theaters, Eastern Federal. Once the chapter 11’s allowed a positive restructuring of he industry, most circuits have a neutral to positive balance of competitive locations. Even if many of hese locations may not be compeitive if faced w/ a new megaplex DLP theater.

ceasar on December 18, 2007 at 9:50 am

Listen Regal made a real big mistake selling the old mall cinema at Pemberton Mall to Village Entertainment. I figure Regal sold the old mall cinema to Village becouse they’re were getting weak profits and the were losing the local audiences black and white to the higher end cinemas in Ridgeland,Madison and Clinton. Now UA Regal here didn’t do a marketing study to see if demographics have changed. Regal didn’t do the courtesy of building this town a box cinema like they did in Clinton and Northpark 14.
I can tell you Village Entertainment didn’t improve the property at all. They bragged on renovation to the local paper but they didn’t follow up on it.

quasimodo on December 18, 2007 at 10:31 am

Movie attendance is not up. It increased slightly in 2006 following a three-year decline. Box office revenues have increased slightly due to price increases, not attendance. 2007 does not look promising, even after the record breaking weekend. Five-year trend is down and industry analysts predict this will continue. DLP is not the savior.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on December 18, 2007 at 12:03 pm

QUASIMODO—WERE DO YOU GET YOUR INFO FROM ??Theater attendance is up 2 years in a row with the 3 years before still in the top 15 high of modern times…

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on December 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm


nov 1o th post gives the top 2o years of attendance going back to 1950.(57 years )

quasimodo on December 19, 2007 at 12:16 am

LONGISLAND…If you were right (and I wish you were), I’d agree with you. you will find the information on the Nov. 11 post of the same thread you reference. If you would like more information, please check out the following: http://mpaa.org/researchStatistics.asp or you can visit NATO online for the same information.
As for 2007, I’m using data available through subcriptions to Rentrak and Nielsen EDI. The startling numbers from last weekend will likely not reverse what is looking like a down year.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on December 19, 2007 at 1:44 am

2006 attendance up 5.5%
2005-attendance still was #10 in the last 50 years

ceasar on December 30, 2007 at 12:38 pm

I can honestly tell you the cinema issue here in Vicksburg hasn’t died down at all. Locals have been asking questions and wondering when a new one is coming in. The local paper hasn’t done no follow up story or anything. CBL propetier has been quiet on issue as have the mayor of Vicksburgs. The quietness has kept the chatter up but there is real angry filn buff community here. Since Vicksburg went dark.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on January 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Glad I’ve got my Wehrenberg history book and their legendary jingle online. Whoever buys them up will cast those items into the dungheap of history!

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment