Another movie multiplex, Regal at Great Northern Mall, to close – ideastream

Northeast Ohio is losing another movie theater this month as the Regal cinema at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted will close on Friday. It’s part of last year’s bankruptcy filing by Regal’s parent company, which saw the chain close its Middleburg Heights multiplex. Last week, it was announced that Regal Montrose in Summit County will also close. Moviegoers lost two other theaters this month as the projectors at the AMC Solon 16 and Chagrin Cinemas in Bainbridge went dark.
All of those cinemas were about 30 years old, but the 10-screen Great Northern Mall theater opened in late 2013. It’s still listed on the Regal website, located in “North Olmstead” [sic].
When the movie’s over
Chagrin Cinemas was “doing well” according to Jon Forman, president of its parent company, Cleveland Cinemas. But the Chagrin’s landlord sold to an owner who has other plans for the space. In the case of other theater closures, however, he said streaming has cut into ticket sales.
“It’s very easy to be lazy and go home today, [if] it’s supposed to rain tonight or it’s going to snow tomorrow, you say, ‘I don’t want the headache. I don’t want some yahoo sitting next to me on his cell phone,’” he said. “You can enjoy that movie at home, hit pause, go to the restroom, to the refrigerator, and that’s what people around the country are doing with greater frequency than they used to.”
Ticket sales have lagged as the industry rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Yahoo Finance, box office revenue was up 70 percent last year, but that was down 30 percent from pre-pandemic levels. “Variety” reports that last summer, 88 percent of moviegoers felt comfortable visiting a theater – up from 59 percent in 2021.
Still, COVID-19 factors into some of the closures. Forman said there are fewer movies being made, so it’s difficult to get audiences to visit multiplexes. And Solon Economic Development Director Angee Shaker, in reflecting on the closure of the 16-screen AMC, said the pandemic had another effect.
“I think because of COVID, with the theater shutdowns, a lot of people invested in home theaters,” she said. “They have a really nice setup, it’s very comfortable and they’ve just gotten used to watching movies at home. So, realistically, I don’t think [Solon is] ever going to have the need for a 16-screen movie theater again.”


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