Movieplex 8 in North Adams closed its doors after the last film Monday as its parent corporation filed for bankruptcy.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The owner of the former Kmart building has vowed to reopen the shuttered cinemas, says Mayor John Barrett III.
The parent corporation of Movieplex 8 abruptly closed the city cinemas and eight others on Tuesday and plans to declare bankruptcy. Rumors were rampant Monday night on Facebook that the North Adams theater would lock its doors after the last reel ran.
Barrett said on Tuesday afternoon that Neil H. Ellis of Connecticut, president of First Hartford Realty, had indicated last week that the cinemas' bankruptcy was imminent and that his company was prepared to step in.
"Absolutely, they're staying there," he said, adding Ellis had told him "we will reopen the theater with first-run pictures and are prepared to operate the theater ourselves."
Ellis was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. First Hartford Reality purchased the nearly 100,000 square-foot former Kmart building and the L-Shaped Mall in 2005. Kmart closed its North Adams store in 2002.
Cinema North Corp. of Rutland, Vt., operates seven multiplexes in New York and one in Rutland. Calls to several other of the company's cinemas were not answered or had a message saying the theater was "temporarily" closed. Its only Connecticut multiplex was sold in April.
A sign on the front of the cinema's doors in North Adams also says it's "temporarily closed." All information was wiped from the corporation's Web site late Tuesday morning. Calls to its headquarters Tuesday have gone unanswered. The Rutland Herald reported that an employee in the corporation's headquarters said the owners would be not be releasing any information on Tuesday.
North Adams theater manager Scott Ingalls told the Berkshire News Network on Tuesday morning that the closure means the loss of 15 to 20 full- and part-time jobs, including his and a full-time projectionist.
The eight-theater cinema opened in January 2007 in a completely remodeled space in the former department store building. The city been without a film theater for months after the multiplex's former home, the North Adams Plaza on Curran Highway, was condemned. It was the third new business to open its doors in the so-called Steeple City Plaza after Peebles and Staples.
Planet Fitness has since opened on the other side of the theater and another store is close to signing for the vacant space that was once Kmart's garden center, said Barrett.
The mayor said Ellis had been working with Cinema North in an attempt to keep the screens going as the corporation struggled financially.
Over the past month or so the availability of opening-night films at the North Adams cinemas had faltered. None of the eight films on the marquee were released within the past two weeks.
It may be some time before Ellis is able to get the multiplex up and running because of the bankruptcy proceedings, said Barrett. "As soon as the court lets them, they'll be back in the door operating it. Neil Ellis is very committed to it."
The company was established in 1983 by Gerald L. Couture Jr. of Rutland. Couture died in 2005. The principals of Cinema North Construction Inc. are listed as James Mullin (Kipp Mullin) and Gerald L. Couture III.
This article was updated at 4:51 p.m. with new information, including quotes from Mayor Barrett and the plans of Neil Ellis.
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It's a shame that the cinema had to close! ... I like to know what the company plans on doing for the people who movie passes?
In recent months prior to closing, the marquee showed an increasing number of R rated films and barely one or two PG or PG-13 selections. Alienating the kids is a good way to close down a local theatre. When will the Mohawk open ?
I disagree that there weren't enough PG and PG-13 (and G for that matter) movies. I actually think there were not enough movies that would interest college students and adults...and yes, these movies often are rated R because they may depict real-life situations. I will agree however, there were too many action movies and these movies are often rated R due to excessive action violence.
I think it's a real shame that people from North County will have to go all the way to the Mall just to see a movie. There are so many other things coming into North Adams that we really don't need and that will not help the kids out by giving them something to do and enjoy. What is the reason for this? Makes you wonder doesn't it?
The real shame in action flicks is that they're pieces of shit, generally. How can a huge theatre in NA like this close while the tiny Images in Williamstown be just fine, you ask? It's because Images shows good films. NA just shows films.
What I noticed is first off, It is a business during a terrible economic time.
Secondly, because of this, it has to take what little revenue it brings in to pick the most popular films hoping to generate more income to pay it's bills and employees...Unlike Images there is NO VOLUNTEERS...
There are only so many GREAT FILMS out there that fill the theaters and they can only sell tickets at competitive prices...around here that's between $8 - $9 and some people find it expensive durring a time when unemployment is at a high.
Congratulations to Tami Daniels and I Berkshires for breaking this important story. From the beginning we have reported that this project was a disaster with a poorly designed space and mediocre programming. The failure, however, occured because the parent company and chain shut down all of its theatres. While there are plans to reopen let us hope that there are design and sturctural changes, a better marketing and business plan, as well as first run films that folks really want to see. Also how does this failure change thinking about developing the Mohawk Theatre?
Berkshire Fine Arts.com
Images Cinema is not, in fact, owned by the college. They are an Independent, not for profit cinema. They generally show independent films as opposed to major-motion pictures financed by major Hollywood studios. There is really no comparison between them and movieplexes.
In order to have a program of films that people really want to see, there has to be a big variety of films, such as independent films, foreign films, and older classic films as well. More power to the owners/proprietors of this movie theatre in the event that they do re-open.
It's always disheartening to read/hear about a long-loved cinema closing its doors for good, and yet heartening to read/hear of a cinema's renovation or coming renovation.