Regal Theater in Concord is closing Thursday

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing  for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing  for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing  for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing  for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.

The Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will be closing for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

By DAVID BROOKS

Monitor staff

Published: 04-16-2024 11:38 AM

After Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. showing of “Kung Fu Panda 4,” the Regal Cinema on Loudon Road will close for good, ending 28 years of multiplex movies on The Heights in Concord and marking the latest step in the redevelopment of the Steeplegate Mall.

What’s next for the building with its seven movie screens is uncertain. The owners, Onyx Partners of Needham, Mass., have plans to turn the 9-acre Regal Cinema site and the adjoining 50 acres holding the Steeplegate Mall into a huge retail and housing complex, with some 625 apartments. 

Onyx and the city are in negotiations over the plans. The most public stumbling block is parking: Onyx wants to include just over 2,000 parking spaces on the property but current city codes calls for 3,254 spaces, although those codes are under review by the city. Onyx is asking for a variance on the parking-per-housing-unit requirement, arguing that the mixed-use nature of the four- and five-story buildings, which would have retail on the ground floor, makes the current standard unnecessary.

The developers are proposing to take down the cinema and most of the mall, building a huge mixed-use complex with retail and some 625 apartments. Three mall tenants – JC Penny, Altitude Trampoline Park and The Zoo Health Club – would remain in stand-alone buildings because they have long-term leases.

Onyx has not applied to the city for a demolition permit to take down the Regal Cinema building, a necessary first step in those plans.

The movie theater dates back to 1996, when it opened as Canad Cinema with 10 screens, a half-dozen years after Steeplegate Mall opened as part of development of the city’s last large track of open pine barrens. The site changed owners several times over the years and was bought by Cineworld in 2017, which kept the Regal name.

Like many theaters, the Regal has struggled with declining movie attendance, a situation worsened by pandemic lockdowns. United Kingdom-based Cineworld went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a year, emerging last summer, and has closed some 150 Regal theaters throughout the U.S. as part of that effort.

The closing will leave the non-profit Red Rivers Theater on South Main Street as Concord’s only public viewing movie house.  The next closest theaters are in Hooksett, Tilton and Manchester.

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