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AMC to close nation's first megaplex

Cue the closing credits for the nation's oldest megaplex.

AMC Entertainment said Thursday that its subsidiary company chose not renew its lease for AMC The Grand 24 in Dallas.

Built in 1995, the theater holds the distinction of being the first megaplex -- a theater with 14 auditoriums or more and stadium seating -- in the U.S. 

AMC said in a statement it could not reach an agreement on lease terms with the property owner, Kansas City, Mo.-based real investment trust Entertainment Properties Trust.

"It's disappointing that we have not come to terms on a historical, and to us, a somewhat sentimental property,'' AMC Chief Executive Gerry Lopez said in a statement.

"Throughout the past 15 years at AMC The Grand 24, we made history and developed many friends in the community,'' said Mark McDonald, AMC's vice president of global development. "We will miss them."

Kansas, Mo.-based AMC, the nation's second-largest theater circuit after Regal Entertainment Group, recently acquired "substantially all" of the assets of Chicago-based Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, the nation's sixth-largest circuit, with 95 theaters in mostly Midwestern markets.

-- Richard Verrier

Comments () | Archives (1)

Forgive me for not shedding a tear. At 55 years I have seen my share of OPULENT and GRAND movie palaces shuttered, forgotten and ignored. And demolished. No one cares when they walk into these modern theaters today, except if they get a good seat and the popcorn is fresh. Cheap, it won't be, and the memories won't linger of any grand edifice to last into their senior years. A box is just a box. Better sound and bigger screen? Perhaps, but then Cinemascope and Technicolor in a 4000 seat palace in my youth was nothing to sneeze at!


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