Sunday, January 3, 2021

[THAT'S ALL FOLKS] Park 12 Cobb Cinemas in East Cobb Has Closed

Georgia Theatre Company's Park 12 Cobb Cinemas has closed.  The 12 screen theater, located at 2925 W. Frank Gordy Parkway in East Cobb, closed as of December 31, according to ToNeTo Atlanta reader in the community and confirmed by a notice on the theater's website.  As of Sunday afternoon, there was no signage at the theater to indicate the closure.  The theater's website directed would-be patrons to the company's sister location, Merchants Walk Stadium Cinemas 12, about seven miles away.  

Park 12 first opened December 17, 1993, according to movie theater history website Cinema Treasures.  The theater had in recent weeks been showing films and there was reportedly no advance notice of the impending closure.  That said, smaller chains like Georgia Theatre Company (GTC), are likely being hit harder than some of their larger peers by COVID-19 and its effects on the delay of big name movies.  Theatres that have remained open have had to resort to a combination of "throwback films," theater rentals for small groups, and select big name films such as Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Brothers) and News of the World (Universal Studios).  

"In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Regal Cinemas in early October "temporarily suspended" operations at all of their locations nationwide, including more than a dozen in metro Atlanta.  Rival operator AMC had been closed for several months (and at the brink of bankruptcy) before they reopened in August on a limited basis with limited capacity.  

St. Simons Island-based GTC operates 24 theater locations in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia.  Georgia is the chain's largest market with 21 locations including one on Washington Road in Augusta - Masters 7 - that is marked "temporarily closed" on the GTC website.  

In January 2020, GTC founder and chairman William Stembler announced the sale of his company to the Georgia Theatre Company Stock Ownership Trust.  “Our employees are the foundation of Georgia Theatre Company,” Stembler said. “By transitioning to an employee-owned company, we are empowering them to play an integral role in the company’s future. My family and I are grateful for this opportunity to reward our employees for their hard work, loyalty and contributions by creating the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).”  This move creates an ownership structure similar to Lakeland, Florida-based Publix wherein the grocery store's employees are owners of the business through an ESOP.  

It's unclear why GTC opted to close Park 12 or if other closures are planned.  Also unclear is what's next for the 5.8 acre site that the Cobb County Tax Assessors office valued at nearly $6 million in 2020. German discount grocer Lidl abandoned plans in 2017 to open a new grocery store on the site of the theater after the Cobb Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 against the grocer's planned redevelopment.  

Are you sad to see Park 12 close?  When was the last time you were in a movie theater? What did you see?  What would you like to see open on the site of the now former Park 12 Cinemas?

Please share your thoughts below. 

9 comments:

LynneF said...

Yes. Very sad but could not survive having no new movies.

Anonymous said...

Very sad, we have tried to go this year but they were not open on Wednesdays

Anonymous said...

A really upsetting loss for the area families. Sad to see it go.

Khoney said...

A group of us just rented out a theater last week. So sad to see it close!! My son and his friends used to walk up to see movies often (before COVID)

Aaron Brown said...

I saw at least one or two movies here using Movie Pass. I'm sorry that things didn't work out for them.

Curt Yeomans said...

Attendance dropped off long before the pandemic hit. I actually went to this theater with my sister and a friend on opening weekend. Randy and Spiff were doing a remote for Fox 97. We saw Cool Runnings that weekend. It used to be packed every Saturday night. The last time I went there was 7 pm on a Saturday showing on the second weekend the Avengers: Infinity War was out. Other theaters were getting big crowds still that weekend for that movie. This theater had maybe a half dozen people in the room watching the movie. The parking lot was, at best, one -quarter full, probably less than that actually. This was, again, a 7 pm showing on a Saturday night. Back in this theater’s heyday, that parking lot would have been packed at that time on a Saturday night. I’m really surprised it even made it to 2020

Anonymous said...

We used to go here on a regular basis before Covid. It was nearby and offered cheap tickets before noon.

Joe said...

What's sad is the owner of the land wanted to sell years ago and stupid east cobb snobs blocked his sale to Lidl. Who the hell are these people think they are telling a person what he is alowwed to do financially for his family. Now his commercial real estate has taken a hit in value because of covid.

Unknown said...

My daughters went the day before they closed. I am saddened they shut down. However, I would never step foot back into their sister theater Merchants Walk. 4 of my children went on Jan. 1 and 2 of my children can't wear a mask for medical reasons. We were told by the General Manager, Matt Schoeb..."I don't care what medical condition they have. We don't want people with medical disabilities in our theater". Who says that to children?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...