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Seaport's 44K SF Luxury Cinema Closes Permanently

The ShowPlace ICON Theatre at 60 Seaport Blvd. in Boston.

The movie theater industry's struggles have reached Boston's upscale Seaport District.

The ShowPlace ICON Theatre at WS Development’s 60 Seaport Blvd. has closed permanently. It had been closed since September and hadn't reopened despite subsequent city guidelines allowing theaters to reopen at limited capacity. The Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatres brand now counts just six other locations nationwide.

“While we did everything we could to adjust to the constant challenges of the pandemic, ultimately it was not enough to remain open,” the Boston theater announced in a tweet Monday.

WS Development said in a statement it came to a mutual agreement with Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres to close the venue and will evaluate next steps for the space in the near future.

The 10-auditorium theater seated 855 guests and opened in 2018 at the 1.1M SF One Seaport mixed-use development, part of the nationwide trend of luxury theater offerings anchoring mixed-use developments. The ShowPlace ICON sat above two restaurants and Seaport Boulevard retail storefronts. It hosted the 2020 Boston Film Festival in September before closing. 

The closing comes one month after chain Cinemagic announced the closure of two Massachusetts theaters along with all six of its other New England locations. Smaller sites have struggled to survive while at least one South Shore theater is being mulled for a condo conversion. The former Cinemark location at the Eastfield Mall in Western Massachusetts is headed toward hosting Springfield District Court hearings after the mall owner opened up other vacant space for vaccination distribution.

Luxury theater chains that expanded quickly before the coronavirus pandemic are in extreme financial distress; Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this month. The chain famous for food and drink service during screenings closed three of its dozens of locations.

The largest chain, AMC Theatres, hasn't closed any of its 10 Greater Boston locations but has felt the pain at the box office, recording a domestic attendance drop of 92% in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the year prior. The company, in a recent earnings call, also reported $450M in deferred rent with repayment terms of 27 months on average.