The last remaining movie theater in Springfield was recently sold to an outside company.
The Chakeres family has owned Chakeres Cinema 10 since 1986, but recently sold it to United Entertainment Corp. for $800,000, according to the Clark County Auditor’s website.
This news organization reached out to owner Philip Chakeres and representatives from UEC, but did not receive a response.
UEC is a Minnesota-based company that owns and operates theaters in 11 states, including five theaters in Ohio with the acquisition of Cinema 10.
“UEC Theatres is excited to announce the acquisition of the Springfield Cinema 10! We look forward to serving the Springfield, OH, market,” their website states.
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Springfield resident Abby Boswell said she’s been going to Chakeres Cinema 10 since she was a kid, but recently outdated features at the venue have caused her to cross county lines just to see a movie.
“We typically go to Beavercreek. My husband prefers the surround sound. We like the bigger theaters, the seats are more comfortable and we can purchase tickets online,” she said.
When she learned the news of the sale, she said she was excited to see what could be coming down the pipeline.
“I think change is good. It’s been the same for a long time,” said Boswell. “I can hope they bring the community back to the movie theater and keep the money in Clark County.”
Mounds of old theater seats were piled up behind Cinema 10, next to a dumpster on Thursday afternoon — a sign changes are already happening.
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Local business owner, Gary Iddings said he also heads towards Beavercreek when he and his family want to go see a movie. He called the Chakeres family a “bedrock” of Springfield, and while he said it was sad to see them sell the theater, he said he could see the new investment turning into a snowball effect.
“I think Springfield would be excited to see the cinema come back,” he said. “Given the opportunity, this whole part of town could see a dramatic improvement.”
Chakeres Theatres, Inc. also owned the Melody Cruise-In on S.R. 40 and Chakeres Cinema 5 at the Upper Valley Mall. The Melody closed in 2016 due to management costs, and Cinema 5 stopped serving customers in 2017 after nearly 50 years. At the time, the owners said the closure was due to declining foot traffic at the mall.
Celina Cinema 5, which was previously owned by Chakeres was also acquired by UEC. Chakeres still owns the Melody 49 Drive-In in Brookville.