© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Regal Interstate Park cinema in Green is closed

The Regal Interstate opened December 21, 1994, and was one of the first to boast a gourmet coffee bar and computerized ticketing.
Cinema Treasures
The Regal Interstate opened December 21, 1994, and was one of the first to boast a gourmet coffee bar and computerized ticketing.

Another movie theater in Northeast Ohio has gone dark.

The Regal Interstate Park in Green, south of Akron, opened in 1994 with 14 screens. It expanded to 18 within a few years. Now, it’s closed. A message on the theater website directs people to locations in Massillon, Hudson and near the former Chapel Hill Mall.

When Regal Interstate Park opened on Dec. 21, 1994, it was relatively advanced with a gourmet coffee bar, cup holders on the seats and computerized ticketing. Its opening week ad touted two new releases which would underperform, “Richie Rich” and “Mixed Nuts,” along with two summer blockbusters still in wide-release: “The Lion King” and “Forrest Gump,” 1994’s two top-grossing releases.

Nearly 30 years later, Regal's parent company, England-based Cineworld, filed for bankruptcy protection last year and has since shuttered locations in North Olmsted, Middleburg Heights and Akron. That leaves just 13 locations in Ohio for the world’s second-largest theater chain. The largest, AMC, also has 13 following this year’s closure of the AMC Solon 16.

Cleveland Cinemas President Jon Forman closed Chagrin Cinemas in Bainbridge in January after their landlord sold the property. At the time, he said chains closing were often the result of streaming and a post-COVID-19 slump in ticket sales.

Solon Economic Development Director Angee Shaker, in reflecting on the closure of the 16-screen AMC, said the pandemic had another effect.

“A lot of people invested in home theaters,” she said. “They have a really nice setup, it's very comfortable and they've just gotten used to watching movies at home. So, realistically, I don't think [Solon is] ever going to have the need for a 16-screen movie theater again.”

Last year’s box office numbers were 34% lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to CNBC. But this past winter was only 25% lower – and that was before the release of summer blockbusters like “Indiana Jones” and “The Super Mario Brothers Movie.”

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.