Atlanta’s Magic Johnson Theater closing

posted by CSWalczak on October 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

ATLANTA, GA — The 12-screen Magic Johnson Theater, operated by AMC, is closing before the end of the month. Located in the Greenbrier Mall, the theater opened in 1996. Mall owners are hoping another operator will come forward, but are also looking at other proposals for the use of the space.

The Greenbriar theater changed hands several times. AMC acquired it after merging with Loews Theatres in 2006.

AMC spokesman Andy DiOrio said the company has closed a handful of theaters nationwide this year as it seeks to upgrade or close aging theaters.

“While we understand and appreciate that community’s affinity with that theater, we also have two others in that vicinity, AMC Parkway Pointe 15 and AMC Southlake Pavilion 24,” he said.

More details in the Atlanta Business News.

Comments (6)

raysson on October 13, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Magic Johnson also has theatres that are still in operation,but this cinema was the first to owned and operated by African-Americans. Had the opportunity to see it once when I vacationed in Atlanta.

John Fink
John Fink on October 13, 2009 at 9:55 pm

This wasn’t the first of MJ’s theaters to close under AMC, they closed a location in North Randall, OH. The cultural phenomenon of Magic Johnson Theaters is to take risks, to open in neighborhoods where new multiplexes wouldn’t open, it now appears AMC is looking at the bottom line and backing out of deals and retreating from certain non-strategic markets.

They’ve let a lot of markets almost dry up. In Buffalo, NY for example, AMC used to run several theaters, theirs and General Cinemas. They’re down to an 80’s era 8-plex across from UB North now after backing out of other leases. In the ATL it looks like they’ve placed their bets with the other two venues, which is sad because I see MJ theaters in more symbolic terms. Cineplex Oden also managed theaters for another Chicago -based company ICE – Inner City Entertainment – which they dropped (later operated by Marcus Theaters). These theaters seem to work along the same lines.

Some are supported directly and indirectly by their cities – theaters like this include Newark Screens in Newark, NJ and Market Arcade in Buffalo, NY.

CSWalczak on October 13, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Magic Johnson was not the first African-American to build and operate a movie theater. Charles Douglass, who had a number of business interests, built and operated the Douglass Theater in Macon, GA which was open at least by 1921; the theater, after a multi-million renovation remains active today a a performing arts center. There were probably at least a few others.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 14, 2009 at 10:58 am

Raysson probably meant to say that the Magic Johnson Theatres family was the first chain of theatres to be owned and operated by African Americans.

FWIW, his very first location in LA is still open. I don’t know how they’re doing business wise – I avoid the place like the plague!

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on October 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm

The Magic Johnson Theatre in Harlem, NY is also open as well.

HASSAN on October 22, 2009 at 8:10 am

My name is Hassan Artiste Raheem, founder and CEO of Network, LLC. in Atlanta. I am a next door neighbor of the new Tyler Perry Studios which is just around the corner from this theater. We Are Creative People and we see the need to re-establish the location as a MegaEventPlex and to get it done ASAP. When buildings just sit, they deteriate very fast. We also need to create jobs and opportunities for our youth and the ideas that we have for this location will bring life back to the building and the community at large. Please visit these two links to discover just what we have in mind and please pass the word. (1)
View link (2) View link

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