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The Harbor Theater in Muskegon, Michigan closed its doors for good on Sunday, January 8, 2012.
The Muskegon Chronicle published an article shortly after it closed, and interviewed Brendan and Jen Pelto about their reasons for closing the theater:
But, save for exceptions like “The Reader” and, last year, Woody Allen’s surprising “Midnight in Paris,” which ran a record-setting 11 consecutive weeks at the Harbor, most of the films booked into the theater did not draw well. They broke even at best, lost money at worst. In the Harbor’s 325-seat Port Theater auditorium and adjacent 185-seat Starboard Lounge, audiences often could be counted on the fingers of two hands, sometimes one. In the world of indies, that’s a gimme teetering on the brink of pitfall.
“Not every film was going to be a success,” Pelto said. “Seventy percent of the time, films that come to the Harbor, that we select, lose money. We pay more to get the film there, the shipping costs and exhibition guarantees, than would actually be brought in by admissions.”
Click the Read link below for the full article.
According to the web site Cinema Treasures, the Harbor Theater opened in 1921 as the Rivoli. In 1931, it was renamed "Our Theatre." It became the Harbor Theater in 1965. A fire in 1977 caused the theater to be gutted and it reopened in 1979. A second screen was added in 1981. It closed in 2001, and was then reopened in March 2008 by the Peltos.
Moviegoers in the Muskegon area will have the Plaza 1 & 2 and Cinema Carousel in town (as well as the Getty 4 Drive-In when the weather improves), so they aren't completely without options, which often happens when movie theaters in smaller towns close.
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