Regal claims Brooklyn theater abruptly shuttered over failed lease negotiations

Madison International Realty says closure of 13-story megaplex was unanticipated

The theater at 106 Court Street (Cushman & Wakefield, iStock)
The theater at 106 Court Street (Cushman & Wakefield, iStock)

A week after the Regal UA Court Street & RPX movie theater in Downtown Brooklyn abruptly shuttered, its operator and landlord have offered differing explanations for the closure.

The theater at 106 Court Street appeared to be closed as of Jan. 18, as first reported by The Brooklyn Eagle. Sources later confirmed the closure to The Real Deal, but the move came with no warning or explanation.

Regal claimed in a Jan. 27 statement that it was not able to come to terms with its landlord, Madison International Realty, over renewing the property’s lease, thus forcing it to close.

“Unfortunately, Regal was not able to reach an agreement with the landlord on a fair and sustainable rent that would have allowed for the very significant renovation investment needed,” a Regal spokesperson said. “Since the term of the lease had ended and the negotiations with the landlord failed, we instead had to close the location.”

However, when approached by The Real Deal, Madison said the “unfortunate” closure was a shock and it is still working with Regal.

“It is unfortunate that matters reached this conclusion and the theater was closed,” a spokesperson for Madison said. “We learned of the closing at the same time as the community.”

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The landlord said it is “exploring all options for the theater, including continued occupancy by Regal under its existing lease.”

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The future of the theater remains unclear, but its reputation as a longtime cultural mainstay of Downtown Brooklyn remains intact. Locals and previous customers of the 13-story megaplex told The New York Times they were shocked and saddened by the change to a landmark center of casual viewing and community, particularly among Black audiences.

The theater occupied 12 of those stories, including the cellar and subcellar. A two-story Barnes and Noble, located on the building’s first and second floors, remains open.

Movie theaters across the country have struggled since the onset of the pandemic as customers have opted to stream new releases from home.

Theater chain Cinepolis made just 25 percent of rent payments last year and Regal Cinemas just 54 percent, according to a report by Datex Property Solutions. Movie theaters on the whole paid just 66 percent of what they owed compaRegal and Madison International Realty have offered differing explanations for Brooklyn’s Regal UA Court Street & RPX movie to nearly 100 percent in 2019.