New Jersey-based New Vision Theater IMAX is closing its 18 nationwide locations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic -- including Fitchburg’s.
Former general manager Adam Hasz confirmed the permanent closing of the 6091 McKee Road theater to Channel3000.com after months of unsuccessful lease negotiations in a July 13 story.
The Fitchburg 18 + IMAX building, formerly AMC Fitchburg, was not yet up for sale as of July 17, according to PropertyDrive, a commercial real estate listing service. The Star attempted contact with the Fitchburg New Vision, but it appeared the email address, phone number and theater website were no longer operational.
Attendance was never an issue at the Fitchburg location, Hasz told Channel3000, but the pandemic has had a major financial impact on the film industry overall – including the cost of running a theater. Last month, the nation’s largest movie chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings, issued a warning about its own finances.
New Vision acquired the location in April 2017 from AMC Theatres. The company was created that same month by the Beekman Group to purchase 16 locations across the United States. The sale of the Fitchburg location had been prompted by AMC’s purchase of Sundance Cinemas, according to a Capital Times story that month.
Five years ago, AMC completed a multimillion-dollar remodel of the Fitchburg theater, which included reclining seats and a bar area in the lobby. The remodel didn’t allow for the equity to remain open amid the pandemic, Hasz told Channel3000.
Hasz told Channel3000 the company “could just never agree to anything. So they decided … it was the best time to shut down.”
“I’ve made a ton of great memories from this place and I know a lot of people in the Fitchburg area can say the same,” Hasz told Channel3000. “I actually met my wife here.”