Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maple Art Theatre closing

A shocker. Landmark Theatres’ Maple Art Theatre is closing at the end of the month. The Detroit Free Press reports that the Los Angeles-based theatre chain has lost the lease of the building attached to the Bloomfield Plaza at Telegraph and Maple roads in northwestern Detroit. The theatre has long been a venue for independent and art films, even before Landmark took it over in 1998. It formerly was operate by AMC Theatres. In fact as an art cinema it predated the conversion of the Main Theatre (also operated by Landmark) in Royal Oak in the 1990s. Landmark’s website shows the only movie currently playing there is The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius). A release from Landmark quotes the chain’s CEO Ted Mundoroff as saying it “saddens us to leave this historical” site. “We love the city of Detroit and will continue to operate the Main Art in Royal Oak.”  It appears as if the Maple will close for good without an alternative site being sought. The three-screen Maple was built in 1974 and was the “first of its kind in the area” according to Landmark. It's located in affluent Bloomfield Township. Over the years the theatre increasingly drew an older demographic and many of the films, such as British period pieces, were targeted to that group. Landmark directed edgier flicks to the Main in younger and hipper Royal Oak. Bloomfield Plaza also sports some nifty shops and restaurants - including the site where famed Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa was last seen alive - but a plaza across the street lost its Barnes & Noble book store in recent years. All things, it seems, must pass.

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