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According to articles in the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, the Marcus Westgate Cinema in Madison, Wisconsin will close on or around December 14, 2008.
The location faced competitive pressure from the nearby Sundance Cinemas 608 Madison after it opened in May 2007. Many markets have trouble supporting just one art-oriented theater, so it's no surprise that two in such close proximity were not going to last.
Marcus spokesman Carlo Petrick was quoted in the Wisconsin State Journal article as saying that the December 14th date was an "unofficial" closing date.
Petrick did not refer to Sundance — which, like Westgate, offers a lineup of art and independent films — as the reason for the company not renewing its lease at Westgate Mall. Instead, he pointed to a "greatly reduced" number of art and independent films in the last two years. Still, Sundance often attracted the most prominent non-mainstream films, and Westgate would show some of the same films after they were shown at Sundance.
Don't take this news that Marcus has given up on the Madison market, as they announced back in May that the Eastgate Cinemas is being replaced by a new facility. That project is reportedly still in the "planning stages" and no construction has begun. Back in August 2006, the company announced that they would be building a new theater on the Southeast side of Madison, but that project never broke ground.
For the full articles from each publication, please see the links below.
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