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09/30/2022 01:39 PM

Westbrook Movie Theater Closes its Doors

Patrons hoping to visit Westbrook’s Marquee Cinemas were greeted with sad news posted to the movie theater’s website on Sept. 28. “Sorry, we are closed. We would like to thank you for your support and patronage over the years,” it read in part.

Marquee Cinemas was one of the last movie theaters in the area. Branford’s Regal Cinemas 12 closed in January and Niantic’s Cinemas temporarily closed its doors in September. Madison Arts Cinemas closed during the pandemic, reopening as Madison Cinemas at the end of January.

According to Marquee Cinemas’ Chief Operating Officer James Cox, the theater’s lease expired on Sept. 30, and difficulties related to COVID-19 made continued operations difficult.

“With the challenges our industry has faced over the last two and a half years from COVID, mandated closures, and reduced level of product due to streaming, we were unable to continue the operation beyond the current lease period,” said Cox.

According to Cox, Marquee Cinemas took over the theater in October 2001. Previously, the theater had been operated by Louisiana-based O’Neil Theatres Inc. O’Neil Theatres opened the 41,000 square-foot theater as Westbrook Cinema 12 in May 1999. O’Neil Theatres filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000.

“We would just like to thank everyone in the area for their patronage over the past 20 years. Any patrons who have a gift card can email to arrange to receive a refund,” Cox said.

While the future of the Westbrook theater is currently unclear, Cox said the landlord was seeking a new theater operator.

“I know the landlord is working hard to find a new operator and the location should reopen soon,” Cox added.

A request for comment from the Westbrook Outlet where the theater is located was not returned in time for inclusion at press time.