Theater wars: Moviegoing options downtown reduced by 3

Deseret News, 23 June 2000

Article Summary:

The 20-year-old Crossroads Plaza Cinemas closed last week because of sagging box-office sales.  The three-plex movie house opened in June 1980 and was once one of the proudest theaters in the valley.  Lately the theater had fallen into disrepair, with common complaints about "discomfort of the chairs and poor quality of the sound-projection systems".

Loews replaced seats in the upstairs auditorium at at Trolley Corners two years ago, and the Midvalley Cinemas was completely renovated and expanded at that same time.  According to Mark Pascucci, spokesman for Loews Cineplex Entertainment, if Crossroads had been performing as well they might have renewed the lease and made improvements.  The company felt Crossroads had too few screens to make renovations worthwhile.

Loews had simply gotten all it could out of the theater, Pascucci said.  "This isn't really that unusual... As the whole motion-picture exhibition industry changes, the shelf life for theaters is getting shorter and shorter. When they get old, they're retired."

Crossroads Cinemas biggest competitor was the Century 16, which which was completely rebuilt on a site near the old Century nine-plex.  "The Century 16 has been siphoning off business from theaters all around the valley, which includes other downtown area Loews movie houses, such as the Broadway Centre, Trolley Corners and Trolley Square."

Cinemark had announced plans to open a multiplex in Crossroads Plaza, including Salt Lake's first IMAX screen, but that project is in an indefinite holding pattern until the mall and the chain resolve some outstanding "financial issues."