• January 19, 2009

    Village North/Visionary Theatre closes

    CHICAGO, IL — “We’re sorry, the number you are trying to reach 773-764-9100 is not able to receive incoming calls at this time.” So said the ominous pre-recorded message when I tried to call the Visionary/Village North Theatre to find out what was playing.

    And so it has happened, the oldest operating movie theatre in Chicago has closed. It was originally opened in 1912, thus barely missing its 100th aniversary by three years. The theatre had run through many names. Originally known as the Regent, it later became the 400, the 400 Twin, the Village North, and in its final months of operation, the Visionary.

    It might seem rather surprising that this theatre did close. After all, it was the only movie theatre remaining in Rogers Park. While it had no parking lot, it certainly received significant walk-in trade from the community, especially students from Loyola. It featured first-run movies at discount prices. So if it was not a lack of ticket sales, what did the Village North in?

  • January 13, 2009

    Cinema Center to close

    OMAHA, NE — Another devastating loss, one of Omaha’s oldest cinemas, the Cinema Center is closing next week.

    Next week will bring the last picture show to Cinema Center, one of Omaha’s first and longest-running multiscreen movie theaters.

    The theater at 82nd Street and West Center Road will close after Thursday’s screenings.

    Read more at the Omaha Record-Herald.

  • January 8, 2009

    Chehalis Theatre closes

    CHEHALIS, WA — The single screen Chehalis Theatre has closed due to competition from a new 10 plex all-digital projection theater recently opened in the area. The Chehalis Theatre has digital sound (pumping out a massive 3600 watts), a small stage with a big screen, modern snack bar, and a fully functioning well-lit marquee. Theater has been restored and is in very good condition.

    Daryl Lund knew that when the new multiplex theater came to town that things might get a little grim for his two theaters, Chehalis Cinema and the Regal Cinema 3 at the Yard Birds Mall.

    Two months after the opening of Midway Cinemas at the Lewis County Mall, the Chehalis Cinema closed its doors for the last time on Dec. 15 due to its inability to compete with the new theater.

    “I didn’t have any movies to show, because the new theater took them all,” Lund said. “I could show movies all day, but I’d lose money because nobody would go. It’s just hard when you can’t get the movies the bigger guys tend to get.”

    Here’s the full story from The Chronicle.

  • January 5, 2009

    Old theatre closing/new one opening

    After 13 years, on Friday December 19th 2008 the seven-screen Cineplex Odeon on Upper James in Hamilton, Ontario closed — the same day Cineplex officially opens its 10 screen complex (SilverCity Hamilton Mountain) five miles away in Stoney Creek. Construction took 7 months and the opening was delayed by 1 week. The general manager, Mr. Clive Thompson is well known in the community and runs a fine operation – he moves with his staff to the new location.

    SilverCity Hamilton Mountain Cinemas at 795 Paramount Dr. in Stoney Creek features 10 screens — including two equipped for 3-D films — and more than 2,000 stadium-style rocker seats. The new location is only a miles from the recently rebuilt 3 screen Starlite Drive In Theatre owned & operated by Premiere Operating of Don Mills, Ontario.

    Allan P. Barnes

  • December 30, 2008

    West Erie Plaza Cinemas to close after 58 years

    ERIE, PA — After almost sixty years in the business, the Plaza Cinemas is scheduled to close.

    The locally owned Plaza Cinemas screens will go dark for the final time next week. The theatre, located in the West Erie Plaza, will close on Tuesday, December 23, after nearly 58 years of business.

    The theatre, opened in 1950, was the area’s first suburban theatre showing top Hollywood blockbusters. Opened as a large single screen theatre, it was converted to a four-screen multiplex in 1980.

    Read the full story at WEP Cinemas.

  • December 16, 2008

    Fenton Cinemas close

    FENTON, MI — The 8-screen Fenton Cinemas closed permanently December 7 after 23 years in operation. It opened as a twin cinema and eventually added six more screens. The economy is blamed for the cinema’s closing.

    Additional info from the Flint Journal at MLive and MLive2.

    This was the only cinema in the Fenton area and the nearest cinema now is 15 miles away in Grand Blanc.

  • December 15, 2008

    Developer buys four closed Showcase Cinemas in Connecticut

    HARTFORD, CT — A developer is paying National Amusements $45 million to buy four abandoned Showcase Cinema theaters in the area to convert them to commercial and industrial use.

    The developer has been negotiating with NA for two years. All the properties add up to nearly 100 acres and their excellent locations near major thoroughfares were compelling enough to make the deal even in this economy. One of the properties has already been resold to a local electrical utility.

  • December 10, 2008

    Auburn’s Old State Theater to close, but….

    AUBURN, CA — Here’s an unusual situation. According to this article the Old State Theater is or will shortly close (the theater’s website indicates Dec. 5 though the article says Dec. 20). The theater will be transformed into a performing arts center. However the current operator has copyrighted the theater’s name and intends apparently to use it as the name of her relocated cinema.

    The Old State Theater, a haven for art-house films in Downtown Auburn, will close its doors Dec. 20 as an art deco movie house it has called home since opening in mid-2004.

    Owner Theresa Cote said Friday that she has decided to move to a new location to let building owner the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center non-profit move forward with plans to modify the Lincoln Way theater for live performances.

    Cote, who has copyrighted the Old State Theater name, said she is looking for a building in the Auburn area with about 3,400 square feet of floor space and good parking access to re-establish her movie business. She owns the projection equipment and screens at the theater.

    Read the full story in the Auburn Journal.

  • December 9, 2008

    SunStar to close Sarasota theater

    SARASOTA, FL — SunStar will close the Sarasota Crossings 10 on December 14. SunStar took over the theater from the Regal chain in 2002.

    The managers found out several weeks ago that the theater at 5521 Fruitville Road, at the Honore Avenue intersection, will close, and the other employees were informed this week.

    Lucas said the employees have been told that the theater is closing to make room for a big box store.

    Read the full article in theHerald Tribune.

  • December 5, 2008

    Delaware’s last drive-in closes

    FELTON, DE — The last drive-in theater in Delaware is closing Saturday. The theater operator can’t afford to buy the land and the property owners want to sell.

    The Diamond State Drive-in Theater opened in 1949 and converted to adult films in 1966 until 1985. The screens were dark from then until 1995 when the present operator reopened it.