|North Adams Movieplex Closing 'Indefinitely'|
|10:38AM / Wednesday, January 25, 2023|
|The North Adams Movieplex is closing its doors. During the pandemic it offered takeout concessions. |
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — North Adams Movieplex is closing its doors at the end of the month.
The theater posted on its Facebook page that it "would be closing its doors indefinitely on Jan. 31.
"We thank each & every one of our customers for the support in these challenging times."
This was accompanied by the image of darkened theater added to its Facebook profile.
Plaza owner First Harford Realty referred inquiries to the theater's box office and iBerkshires has asked for comment.
This will the second movieplex to close in the area in the wake of the pandemic: Regal Cinemas
at the Berkshire Mall permanently closed a year ago.
The closing leaves only single-screen independent Images Cinema in North County and the Beacon Theater in Pittsfield and Bennington Cinemas in Vermont are now the nearest cineplexes. The four-screen Triplex is still operating in Great Barrington.
The past few years have not been easy for movie theaters with the pandemic when fewer films were being released or sent directly to streaming services, and generally fewer people going to the movies.
Even before the pandemic, theater owners looked to bolster attendance by hosting group watchings of popular television shows and seasonal movies. Most recently the theater was given the OK to serve beer and wine.
The North Adams cinema's struggled for more than a decade under several different owners. It operated as a six-screen complex in the decaying North Adams Plaza on Curran Highway until the Board of Health shuttered the building. It was later razed
It reopened with eight screens on Jan. 27, 2007, in the former Kmart building but less than two years later parent company Cinema North Corp. of Rutland, Vt., went bankrupt and the theater closed.
The cinemas have had a rocky history after being forced to move from the crumbling North Adams Plaza on Curran Highway to make way for that building's demolition. It opened months later in the newly renovated Kmart building but its then owner, Cinema North Corp., declared bankruptcy in 2009.
George Gohl, owner of Greenfield Gardens Cinema, leased the operation in late 2009. Months later, he invested some $40,000 in screens to handle the 3D films -- think "Avatar" -- that were being released and also upgraded the ticketing system.
Less than two years later, Gohl pulled out citing lack of attendance, resources, revenue and the effects of ongoing construction on the Hadley Overpass and the Irene-damaged Route 2.
First Hartford Corp. of Connecticut, owner of the plaza, took over and pledged to keep the lights on. That worked for nine years until March 2020 when the pandemic hit, roiling the film industry worldwide. The theater reopened in August with restrictions.
The theater was a fixture in the community and beyond opening up a long hallway wall for a mural depicting North Adams' history, they regularly held food drives including that annual Five for Five drive to benefit the Berkshire Dream Center. Those who donated five non-perishable food goods can see a free movie of their choice.
They also hosted various donation collection bins throughout the years.
They also opened up their doors to former North Adams Regional Hospital Employees who lost their jobs when the hospital closed in 2014. In an effort to boost morale, the North Adams Movieplex invited all employees affected by the closure of North Adams Regional Hospital and its affiliations to come to a free screening of "The Lego Movie."