curtain call

Longtime cult-favorite Houston movie theater permanently shutters

Longtime cult-favorite Houston movie theater permanently shutters

AMC Studio 30
The curtain has dropped on AMC Studio 30. AMCTheaters

Sadly, it's time to pour out some concession-stand soda for one Houston's largest multiplexes.

On November 9, the Houston Chronicle reported that AMC Studio 30 has officially, permanently closed. While the Chronicle notes that the closing has nothing to do with the pandemic shaking up both the movie business and the movie-exhibition business (the chain's lease ran out and the property owner reportedly has other plans), it still hasn't been the rosiest of times for the Kansas-based AMC Entertainment.

A representative for AMC supplied CultureMap with the following statemtent:

AMC continues to have constructive discussions with our landlords as we work together to effectively manage through this COVID crisis. This includes reaching a global agreement with EPR Properties, one of our most prominent landlord partners, which was executed on July 1, 2020. In conjunction with that agreement, EPR made certain rent concessions in exchange for other rights, including its ability to terminate up to seven leases. In conjunction with this agreement, AMC has ceased operations at six EPR-owned theatre locations nationwide. AMC Studio 30, which closed at the end of business on Sunday, November 8, is the only AMC in this area impacted as a result of this agreement. Any further questions about the future of this location should be directed to EPR Properties.

AMC truly appreciates the support from its guests at AMC Studio 30, and we encourage moviegoers to continue enjoying the AMC experience at our other Houston-area AMCs.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that, even though AMC has reopened 539 locations (which is 90 percent of its movie houses) across the country, it still lost more than $900 million in the third quarter.

Opened in the summer of 1997, the southwest Houston-based Studio was one of the prime locations for people in the city to not only see the latest, big-budget studio blockbusters, but indie and foreign films. (It was one of the few multiplexes in the city to catch Bollywood films.) For 14 years, it was also home to the WorldFest International Film Festival.

Over the years, it did begin to get a rep for attracting both headlines and criticism (the place was catnip for Yelp cranks). In 2013, a Heat-style, armored-car heist took place right outside in the parking lot and, in 2017, a couple claimed that they were bitten by bed bugs after attending the theater.  

Nevertheless, local movie fans have been mourning on social media. On his Facebook page, Alamo Drafthouse Houston programming director Robert Saucedo wrote, "AMC 30 on Dunvale represented the best and worst that came with big multiplex cinemas, but I'm sorry to hear of its closing. The days of theaters with 30 screens are probably drawing to an end, but AMC filled a ton of its Dunvale location's screens with foreign and indie cinema."