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Austin’s Arbor Cinema at Great Hills shuts down

KVUE-TV Austin 9/27/2022 Bob Garcia-Buckalew
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A blank marquee and a dark movie house greeted movie-goers over the weekend as the Regal Arbor Cinema at Great Hills, popular for showing lower-budget, independent films, was closed.

While there were no details specific to the Austin theater shutdown from its owner, Cineworld, which operates the Arbor under the Regal name in the U.S., the closing appears to be related to a bankruptcy filing on Sept. 7.

On Monday, employees at the cinema, located between Jollyville Road and the Highway 183 North access road near Great Hills Trail, were seen carting-out items from the shuttered theater.

According to the Associated Press, Cineworld is nearly $5 billion in debt and filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas. The company said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by early next year.

Movie exhibitioners have suffered massive losses during the COVID-19 pandemic as theater-goers avoided group settings, a setback from which many movie houses haven’t fully recovered.  

According to the movie theater fan site cinematreasures.org, the Austin theater was opened on July 14, 1989, as the Great Hills 8 Cinema and was operated by General Cinema Theatres. It was closed in 2000, but reopened Oct. 9, 2003, as Arbor Cinema at Great Hills.

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