Marquee Cinemas in Statesville has closed.

A message on the company’s website announcing the closing said, “We would like to thank you for your support and patronage over the years.”

It added that information about gift-card refunds could obtained by emailing aevans@marqueecinemas.com.

Marquee Cinemas’ Marketing Director Robin Shumate explained in an email the closing comes as the theater’s lease fell through.

“We have been privileged to serve the Statesville community for 15 years,” said Shumate. “Our lease had recently come up for renewal and unfortunately we were unable to come to an agreement.”

The property is owned by Folger Drive Properties, LLC, which is made up of multiple owners, and company spokeswoman Suzanne Osborne said the owners made efforts to help keep the theater by lowering the rent.

Osborne said the owners had reduced Marquee’s rent twice to keep it from leaving the property.

Marquee attributed their continued losses to not being supported by Statesville and the ongoing trend of streaming services such as Netflix or Redbox movie rentals. This is national trend that affects many local movie theaters, Osborne said.

She said the owners also tried to find another tenant.

“The owners made numerous efforts over the last few months to secure another theatre tenant, but based on movie attendance records, those efforts were ultimately unsuccessful,” she stated.

On Monday morning, the location at 1515 Cinema Drive sat with doors locked and movie posters removed from display panels. Neon light fixtures were still on inside, but no one answered a knock on the door.

A U-Haul and other moving vehicles were seen parked on the side of the building.

The closing leaves Statesville without a movie theater. When Jennifer Rabito-Pariseau learned of the cinema’s closing she went to Facebook and asked in a comment if she could get any of the leftover popcorn.

She said part of the reason she’ll miss Marque Cinemas is that it provided a distraction from the real world and imaginative escape.

“It brought grand memories to children of excitement before being swallowed into a world where they were fighting bad guys in castles, being rescued by their true love, or traveling the world with nothing but a backpack and a dream,” she wrote in a Facebook message.

Marquee Cinemas was founded in 1979 in Rainelle, West Virginia, the company’s website stated.

It currently operates 16 movie theaters in nine states. It has two locations in North Carolina: Morganton and Raleigh.

The owners built the theater in 2004 with high hopes that Statesville would support the theater, Osborne said.

”Folger Drive Properties, LLC is thankful to the community for their continued support of theater and the owners are also saddened by their departure, which leaves Statesville without a theater,” Osborne added.

As of Monday afternoon, Rabito-Pariseau still hasn’t heard anything about obtaining the leftover popcorn.

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(3) comments

Benjamin Bedinger

This theater was built extremely cheaply with inferior audio equipment, projectors, and screen size. The seats were uncomfortable, and worst of all, the place stunk. It smelled of rancid popcorn butter and BO for years. These are the reasons no one wanted to go there. They charged the same amount as other theaters for a far inferior experience.

Peggy Hill

It’s sad that Statesville will not have a theatre. I grew up going to the Playhouse. I spend a great day there to see The Sound Of Music with a school field day. My first date with my X husband was there and we saw Gone With The Wind., then I took my son to the

New Town Theatre. After that it was the one off Sullivan Rd. With my son and my nieces and nephews. I live in Florida now so I’ve never been to the one that’s closing. I don’t know if people are not going because they’re watching Netflix or Streaming. I think it may have more to do with people sending a message to the actors that we don’t agree with the remarks they make, their conduct, and an overall disrespect for the movie goers. It’s more important for them to show off for each other than what they do for the fans and we’re sick of it. We just finished award season and all went down with viewers and The Oscars this year was the lowest viewers that it’s ever been. It takes a while for the actors to figure this out but eventually they will when all the studio owners and building owners that rent to theatres go out of business. It’s kinda sad that they live in their big houses, have lavish parties, and vacations while a person has to pay a hours pay or more to see that movie. They never stop to think where that money comes from or about that person slinging burgers to pay for that ticket. Then they get up and try to tell us who to vote for, and how we need to leave a smaller footprint while it’s them building huge home’s, filling pools, driving big gas guzzlers, hiring a maid to clean their 20 bathrooms and their 12 bedrooms. It’s them that demands the most electricity with their 100’s of outdoor lights to highlight their elaborate homes. I’m just over their greed and I’m sick of their opinions about everything. Be it George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Loud mouth Michael Moore, I’m done and so is a lot of people.

Stan Holt

Ditto Peggy!

I too have many found memories of going to the movies with family and friends.

But can no longer enjoy the theater experience because actors that think they are experts and everything tell me what a bad person I am.

For the same money I'd rather enjoy a nice meal out with those same family and friends.

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.