The closing of a 4 screen movie theater may not seem important, or even worth noting to many people. Some people are probably saying, “there was a movie theater in the Renaissance Center?”
Yes, it was there for almost 30 years, and it was one of the best things about living downtown. Walking down to the RenCen, having a few drinks at Andiamos, or somewhere nearby, then going to the movies, was as of yesterday, a great way to spend a night in Detroit.
One of the theater’s greatest aspects was its small size. It felt laid back and accessible. Not ostentatious and absurd like so many of the multiplexes we head to when we want to see a movie.
Living in Detroit is fun. There is no refuting that, but it takes a certain sort of person. By no means am I insinuating you need to be some sort of urban pioneer, or hard ass, but you need to be able to find sources for entertainment that may not just leap into your lap. Basic things like walking out of your home and being able to have dinner and see a movie is a selling point for any city. Detroit as it rebuilds its image is going to have to find a way to keep people with families in the city. I am willing to bet there are some parents who are not looking forward to taking their kids out to the suburbs to catch the latest superhero flick. Yes, they exist to.
The theater is operated by Uptown Entertainment, and owned by Ilitch Holdings Inc… I am sure this theater was a make or break for the company.
More from Crain’s Detroit Business’s Natalie Broda
The configuration of the 18,000-square-foot theater is a big part of the reason for the closing, said Tina Kozak, president of Franco Public Relations Group, speaking on behalf of CBRE, the property manager of the Renaissance Center.
“Larger theater spaces are required for a more comfortable experience overall, and the theater space here has always been limited,” Kozak said. “We really looked at a lot of options for operations here, but (the space) doesn’t allow for the proper redesign and expansion to be competitive.”
The theater does not have a digital projector and is instead still running film on its four screens.
“That space was satisfactory for moviegoing experiences of the past, not the current moviegoer,” Kozak said.