Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Manhattan Losing Second and Last Downtown Cineplex as Regal Closes Union Square


First they came for the record stores, then the book stores. Now the movie theaters are going to be eliminated, and fast.

Regal Cinemas, filing for bankruptcy, is closing the Union Square Theater on East 13th St. This follows the shuttering of the Cinepolis, aka Chelsea Odeon Cineplex, over on West 23rd St. And that’s it aside from the small Village East, and Kips Bay Cinema. Anomalies now.

Regal is shuttering a bunch of theaters across the country including some in LA and Boston.

The party is over, my friends. More and more theaters will be closing this year as streaming, digital, Netflix, etc kills off the experience of seeing movies in public. New York is a desert at night aside from Times Square.

People are home. New York is the city that sleeps. This is quite different than the night life of my youth, which was so much fun and culturally important. We saw all the groups, hung out at all the clubs, met all the people we know now. We couldn’t have done that in our living rooms, and we wouldn’t have wanted to.

Live music will be the next to go, I guess. You can just stream a concert onto your phone. No parking, no babysitters, no headaches. No life.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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