Today is your last chance to see a movie at the Regal River Oaks Cinema 8.
The theater is closing its doors today, marking the end of a 22-year run.
Decatur native Craig Johnson got his start in the entertainment business at the theater about 10 years ago when he started a three-year career there.
"It's one of my favorite jobs I've ever had," Johnson said. "Building movies — putting them together — was one of my favorite things to do."
Johnson, 34, now works in Atlanta managing props and dressing sets for movies and television shows.
He doesn't remember the first movie he saw at the Regal, but he does remember the 1991 action film "Terminator 2."
"I remember sneaking in because it was an R-rated movie," he said, laughing.
Johnson feels a sadness at the theater's closing. He said he loved everyone who worked there, and he remembers staying late after the theater closed with his colleagues to watch movies before they officially opened the next day.
Regal has kept the closure quiet. There was no signage posted on the theater leading up to today. Employees wouldn't comment, diverting all questions to a Regal Entertainment Group corporate answering machine that didn't return calls made since Thanksgiving until Friday morning.
Corporate communications representatives for the Knoxville-based theater chain also did not answer queries about the theater's closing.
Show times for the theater on websites such as Fandango aren't listed for any day after today, and Johnson said he attended a closing party for the theater near Thanksgiving during which the closing date was announced. And all of the films currently playing are holdovers from previous weeks.
Jeff Kelly, a 10-year Decatur resident, has been to the theater only a few times.
He said he prefers the Regal to the Carmike 8 on 14th Street, but also prefers Huntsville's nicer theaters such as Bridge Street's Monaco and the Valley Bend 18, which Columbus, Ga.-based Carmike Cinemas recently purchased from the Rave theater chain.
"I'm sad to see it go," he said. "But I'm excited about the new theater."
The Carmike 8 will close after the new 12-screen Carmike inside Decatur Mall opens in late January or early February. The 45,000 square-foot building will total 2,400 seats and include one BigD format auditorium with a 60-foot-wide, three-story tall, wall-to-wall screen.
At a Decatur finance committee meeting a year ago, then-Mayor Don Stanford said the city and the mall's owner were trying to attract a department store to the Regal theater spot behind Decatur Mall.
Not registered? Click here
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|