Less than a year after renovating the former Regal Rivergate Cinema 14 movie theaters, the company that owns The Edge 14 cinema closed its doors after Saturday’s late screenings, officials said.
Marty Felts, president of Naos Entertainment -- an Alabama-based company that owned the Macon cinema and two other theaters in Alabama -- said Sunday that The Edge didn’t bring in enough income and his firm was unable to renegotiate the cinema’s lease.
“We were just unable to make the economics of the Macon theater work for us,” Felts said. “We lost a lot of money on it. It was a substantial investment on our part.”
The company spent about $1 million renovating the former Regal theater, which closed at the end of August 2010.
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Naos Entertainment gutted the lobby, moved the restrooms and concession counters, and installed nearly 1,100 new, partially reclining seats in the building, which is located at the corner of Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard and Northside Drive.
The Edge formally opened the week of Thanksgiving in 2010, initially with eight screens, with six more supposed to be converted to stadium-style layouts and opened later.
Felts said the theater employed about 40 people, none of whom were given any advance warning that The Edge would be closed for good Sunday. Felts declined to talk about what severance, if any, the employees would receive.
Felts said there were a variety factors that caused the theater to fail.
“We did our best over the past several months, but we were unable to renegotiate our lease,” he said, adding that the slow economy also hurt. “It’s hard to say (if there was one main factor). I hate it that it didn’t work, but it just didn’t.”
The Regal Rivergate Cinema 14 opened in 1991 and operated for nearly 20 years, even though it steadily lost traffic to the AmStar Cinemas 16, which opened in 1999 on Zebulon Road.
When Felts first took over the Regal property, he said there was enough of a market that Macon could support two cinemas that showed first-run movies. At the time, he noted that the Regal had about 20 percent of the local market when it closed.
On Sunday, Felts said that he was disappointed that things didn’t work out for The Edge.
“I love the town,” he said of Macon. “It really pains me that it didn’t work as a long-term project.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.