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Source: Lansing State Journal
By Susan Stock Lansing State Journal Lansing-area movie patrons will have one less option when the Elmwood Plaza 8 closes its doors for the last time today. AMC Entertainment Inc. spokesman Rick King said the 20-year lease was up for the theater, located at 936 E. Mall Drive, near the Lansing Mall. "We elected not to renew because the theater has declined in popularity in recent years," he said.
Competition from larger, newer megaplexes such as the 18-screen NCG Cinemas at Eastwood Towne Center played a role in the closure. "Older theaters really don't lend themselves to the renovations that consumers are demanding - stadium seating and higher screen counts," King said. The Elmwood Plaza 8 opened in 1984 and has eight screens and about 1,800 seats. Its 15 employees can transfer to any available openings at AMC's other area theater, the Meridian Outer 6. The closure will leave 48 area movie screens, at Celebration Cinema, NCG Cinemas, Meridian Outer 6 and Lansing Mall 6, plus Celebration's new Imax theater. According to estimates made in September by Nielsen EDI, more than 53,000 people visit local theaters in an average week.
Elmwood's closure fits a national trend as consumers flock to megaplex theaters, King said. "It's been happening in virtually every market in the country," he said. The closing is a shame, said Craig Ruff, founder of the Lansing Area Movie Buffs. "I always shed a tear whenever any venue for arts and culture shuts its doors," he said. "But the market is the market, and you've got to turn the turnstiles to stay in business." The property's management company could not be reached for comment, but King said he doesn't know of any plans for the site. The closure isn't surprising to Elmwood's competitors. "There wasn't a lot of market share there to share, but it will help everyone else a little," said Ron Van Timmeren, a spokesman for Jack Loeks Theatres, which owns Celebration Cinema.