Friday, December 13, 2013

Roll credits: Village 6 gets 86'd

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

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Carmike Cinemas has closed the Village 6 on South Reserve St., leaving Missoula with only one movie theater for major studio releases.

The Independent learned Monday that Village 6 staff had been notified of the impending closure. Messages left with Carmike’s corporate offices in Columbus, Ga., were not returned. Local managers are not authorized to speak to the media, but did confirm that movie times for the Village 6 would not be supplied beyond Thursday, Dec. 12. On Friday, the Village 6 marquee announced the closing and directed patrons to the Carmike 12.

The Carmike 12 is now the only local theater that screens major studio releases, such as the current lineup including The Hobbit, Frozen and The Hunger Games. The Wilma Theatre and the newly revived Roxy Theatre mostly specialize in independent, art house and foreign films.

Brendan Cashin, who worked at the Village 6 for more than a year, says his manager contacted him Sunday about the closure. Cashin says he was offered the chance to transfer to the Carmike 12. He declined the offer and resigned instead, adding that the intimate Southside location had a dedicated following and different feel than the one on Reserve Street.

“We had regulars and they would say we treated them better,” says Cashin, who acknowledges he did not get along with the Village 6’s new manager and did not like working at the Carmike 12. "They felt our theater was more comfortable. I loved the theater, but not the job, at least not recently.”

Carmike Cinemas, which closed the Cine 3 on Brooks Street in 2006, continues to make changes nationwide to adjust to a changing entertainment industry. The company’s stock has risen in the last four years from a low of $8 per share in 2009 to more than $24 today under CEO David Passman, who has aggressively paid down debt, updated or built new theaters, and closed underperforming locations. Carmike renovated the Carmike 12 in 2011 to add a “BigD” theater.

As of June 30, Carmike owned 245 theaters and 2,476 screens in 35 states.

The Village 6 location is surrounded by new development. The former Kmart building was recently torn down to make way for a new Cabela’s Outpost and Kohl’s department store. Petco is also expected to open along the strip. The Boot Barn, located next to the Village 6, opened this week.

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