Regal Blames Court Street Theater Closure on Rising Rents

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Regal Cinemas blamed its landlord on Court Street for the sudden closure of its Downtown Brooklyn multiplex after a nearly two-decade run. 

The movie chain claimed that Madison International Realty, the owner of its building at 106 Court Street, wanted a rent increase that the company knew would be unsustainable, given its plans to renovate and modernize the theater’s dated look. Regal UA Court Street, which opened in 2000, opted to close its doors with no notice earlier this month rather than continue to negotiate with Madison after its lease ended.

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“While we continue to believe in the site and the community, we had to make the difficult decision to close this location due to our inability to reach an agreement with the landlord on a new lease term reflecting the need for a major and very costly renovation needed to bring a Regal style, state-of-the-art theater to Brooklyn,” a Regal spokesperson said in a statement. 

“Over the past few years, we have been focused on ensuring that our audiences have the best possible moviegoing experience through extensive investments in renovations and refurbishments at our locations, and we were prepared to and would have loved to bring that level of experience to our Court Street location. Unfortunately, Regal was not able to reach an agreement with the landlord on a fair and sustainable rent that would have allowed for the very significant renovation investment needed. Since the term of the lease had ended and the negotiations with the landlord failed, we instead had to close the location.”

Madison, on the other hand, claimed that it did not expect the theater to close and had not been actively trying to replace Regal with another tenant. However, a C&W retail team was apparently marketing the space in 2020. Madison didn’t immediately return an additional request for comment regarding Regal’s statement.

After the theater shuttered last week, Madison told Commercial Observer that it “​​shared the community’s disappointment in the sudden closing of the Regal theater. We are in the process of assessing the situation and gathering more information.”

Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at rbairdremba@commercialobserver.com