Curtain closes at Scranton theater

First Posted: 1/6/2015

SCRANTON — This time, Marquee Cinemas really went dark.

The theater presented its final movies Tuesday before closing, an employee confirmed.

The Marquee website contained a message the weekend of Dec. 26 stating the business was closed, but an employee contacted on Sunday, Dec. 28 said it was open, and patrons were still paying to see movies there.

That employee, who would not give her name, said the message was “a mistake,” though she said she did not know the message’s origin.

The message, displayed for at least two days, read: “Sorry, we are closed. We would like to thank you for your support and patronage over the years.

“For information about gift card refunds please email”

Attempts to reach a spokesman in Marquee Cinemas’ corporate headquarters in Beckley, West Virginia, were unsuccessful.

Clarence Banks, general manager at the Mall at Steamtown, which leased space to Marquee Cinemas, also did not return a phone call seeking comment. Banks told the Times Leader in June that the company gave notification of its intent not to renew the lease that expires at the end of 2014. The cinemas are located across Lackawanna Avenue from the mall.

Banks said at the time several movie theater vendors had inquired about the space.

Even if another vendor takes over, though, it might not be enough to save the nearly deserted mall, which a number of stores have abandoned in 2014. Most recently, Abercrombie & Fitch and its sister retailer Hollister announced they were moving out. Carvel, Cinnabon and Steamtown Grill previously left, as did anchor stores The Bon-Ton and Express. Others, such as a soulfood restaurant, the As Seen On TV store and a candy shop, followed the others out the door.

An auction of the mall was held last summer because Steamtown Mall Partners defaulted on loans. The cinemas were not part of the sheriff’s sale.

Miami Beach-based LNR Partners, LLC, purchased the downtown mall at a Lackawanna County sheriff’s sale in July with a sheriff’s fee of $1,567.71. Albert Boscov, owner of the Boscov’s department store chain, said in November he remained hopeful of buying The Mall at Steamtown if the price is right.

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