Central Massachusetts movie theater to close permanently after 28 years

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East Boston friends come up with popular “Movie Grid” game

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FITCHBURG – A movie theater in central Massachusetts is closing for good at the end of the month after nearly three decades in business. Cinema World in Fitchburg says its last day will be Sunday, March 31.

“We can’t thank you enough for making Cinema World as your go-to movie theater over the past 28 years!” the seven-screen theater posted to Facebook. “Stop by to see your last movie at Cinema World and enjoy some of our delicious popcorn!”

Owner Dave Fedeli told the Sentinel & Enterprise that the theater isn’t making enough money to pay rent. 

“I can’t sign a long-term lease and I’m losing money,” he told the newspaper. “It’s all about business. I can’t stay open.”

Movie theaters have struggled since pandemic

Despite last summer’s “Barbenheimer” box office success, movie theaters have struggled since the start of the COVID pandemic that forced many to shut down for several months.

Showcase Cinemas Worcester North never reopened after closing for the pandemic. Regal closed its Fenway movie theater in Boston after filing for bankruptcy last year. And a nonprofit is trying to raise nearly $10 million to save the six-screen West Newton Cinema

“One of the last affordable movie theaters”

Hundreds shared their Cinema World memories on Facebook in reaction to the closure announcement. 

“This is terrible. One of the last affordable movie theaters,” one person said. Tickets for evening shows were $8.50 for adults and $6 for children and seniors.

Another longtime customer said they remember when there were lines out the door at Cinema World.

“Having to sit solo with strangers because all the seaters were taken. The long lines for popcorn. Good ol’ days,” they wrote.

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