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Cinemas at Warwick Mall and South Kingstown shut down for good
Providence Journal - 3/24/2021
Two Rhode Island move theaters — Showcase Cinemas at Warwick Mall and South Kingstown Cinemas 8 — are closing their doors for good, apparent victims of financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Showcase Cinemas, which shut its doors at the start of the pandemic, has informed Warwick Mall that it won't renew its lease when it expires at the end of April, according Domenic Schiavone, the mall's general manager.
In South Kingstown, South Kingstown Cinemas 8, located at South County Commons and operated by the Entertainment Management Corporation in Massachusetts, notified its patrons via a message on Facebook.
More: Just like old times: Showcase reopens Warwick cinemas with classic movies, protective tech
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"We would like to thank all of our loyal patrons for the many years you have supported our theater. Unfortunately Covid 19 has made it economically impossible for us to reopen," the post says.
"Thank you for your patronage and stay safe."
The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the movie industry, with many theaters shutting down temporarily or permanently. Some film productions have been postponed and, in some cases, films have been released directly to services for home viewing.
Showcase didn't say why it was letting its lease expire, according to Schiavone, but "it seems like a consolidation plan" since Showcase also operates a theater "just down the street" on Quaker Lane.
The Showcase on Quaker Lane is showing 12 different movies Wednesday, according to its website. Showcase, which also operates the theater at Providence Place mall, didn't immediately respond to an inquiry.
In July, the Showcase Cinemas on Quaker Lane, near the East Greenwich line, reopened showing classic movies. At the time, just two of Showcase's 26 cinemas wer open.
Warwick Mall has had a movie theater since it opened in 1970, and the mall hopes to replace Showcase with another entertainment venue, Schiavone said. He said, "Our priority is to have entertainment as part of the mall."
Despite the theater's closing, Schiavone believes the business climate is improving, with more people getting vaccinated, and the weather turning warmer. He believes people are anxious to get out with friends and family for activities. He said, "People still look for experiences."
The mall has about 90 businesses and expects to announce three to four new businesses within the next 30 to 45 days. Schiavone said, "We're actually in a good place."
Based out of South Easton, Massachusetts, Entertainment Management Corporation operates four movie theaters in Massachusetts, and one each in New Hampshire and Connecticut, according to its website.
Entertainment Management Corporation also manages Bill Hanney's Theatre By the Sea. The theatre's website advertises shows for this summer, starting in May with "MAMMA MIA!"
On Twitter: @jgregoryperry
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Cinemas at Warwick Mall and South Kingstown shut down for good
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