Denniston Cinemas close

posted by Michael Zoldessy on May 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm

MONROE, MI — The Denniston Cinemas closed last week. It was built in 1974 at the height of the multiplex boom.

I worked there from 1976-1979. The owner had been trying to sell the theatre, but got no takers. It had been increasingly difficult to book quality films over the local chain theatre competitor — Phoenix Theatres. The theatre opened with “McQ” starring John Wayne (“Wayne on Wheels”).

Owner Joe Sterling, whose grandfather Joseph R. Denniston was a pioneer in the cinema business in Monroe, said it’s becoming tougher to book films to compete against the larger multi-screen theater complexes, such as Phoenix Theatres at Frenchtown Square mall.

The Denniston Cinema has been for sale for about three years.

“We have three screens and it really is a nice theater —clean and well-designed and everything — but we can’t compete for film because they have eight screens at the mall and the film companies are more interested in that venue,” Mr. Sterling said. “We haven’t been able to compete really successfully even since Regal was in there.”

Read the full story in the Monroe News.

Richard DuVal

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