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ArcLight Cinemas at Hub on Causeway will not reopen

The movie theater chain says it ‘does not have a viable way forward’ post-pandemic

A rendering of the ArcLight Cinemas entrance at the Hub on Causeway. The movie complex opened just a few months before the pandemic struck.
A rendering of the ArcLight Cinemas entrance at the Hub on Causeway. The movie complex opened just a few months before the pandemic struck.Shook Kelley

A downtown Boston movie theater complex that opened only a year and a half ago appears to have fallen victim to the pandemic.

ArcLight Cinemas said Monday evening that it won’t reopen its theaters, which include a 15-screen location at the Hub on Causeway next to TD Garden. The Southern California company said in a statement on its website that it “does not have a viable way forward” and would not reopen its theaters, which have been shut for more than a year.

“This was not the outcome anyone wanted,” the company said in a statement.

That presumably includes the ArcLight at the Hub on Causeway, which opened in November 2019, a few months before the pandemic hit. While other Massachusetts movie theaters have been open at reduced capacity since July, the ArcLight has remained dark.

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The ArcLight — a beloved cinema chain in its native Los Angeles — was one of several higher-end movie theaters to open as part of large mixed-use developments in Boston in recent years. It offered a viewing experience that featured reserved seating and movies projected from film, instead of with digital technology. Ticket prices were slightly higher than those at a typical suburban multiplex.

“We like to think about it as the best extra two bucks you’re going to spend,” the company’s chief marketing officer told Boston.com in 2019, “Because the value you’re going to get for those two hours is pretty amazing.”

It’s the second premium movie house downtown to close in a month, after the ShowPlace Icon in the Seaport handed back its keys in March. Others, though, are making comebacks. The Regal Theater in the Fenway is set to reopen April 23, according to its website. And the huge AMC Boston Common is currently open with a reduced schedule, having recently extended its lease for another 10 years, according to the real estate publication Bisnow.

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What the future might hold for the shuttered theaters is unclear.

Deadline, a Hollywood trade publication, suggested the ArcLight closures may be part of a broader negotiation with landlords and that some of the theaters could eventually reopen. Landlords could also potentially find other operators to take over the theater space — which in this case amounts to 60,000 square feet at the Hub on Causeway.

Boston Properties, which owns the Hub on Causeway, declined to comment on the closure.


Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.