Monday, January 30, 2023

Temple Mall business owners react to cinema closures

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – In late December, the Premiere Cinema at the Temple Mall will be showing its latest titles. Premiere Cinemas announced the closure of the 20-year-old cinema on Sunday.

The movie theater was one of the first IMAX theaters in Central Texas. Premiere Cinemas – The Temple will be open until the final screening of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Christmas Day.

Rob Brandenburg is the owner of Peggy’s Coffee House, which is just a few doors down from the downtown theater.

“I don’t think it’s an indication that the mall’s future is bleak, it just feels like a what if. What will happen?” Brandenburg said.

But at PJ’s Sassy Classy Boutique, on the other side of the mall, owner Paula Jackson is still reeling from the theater’s closure.

“I really don’t know what to say I’m amazed,” Jackson said.

With business picking up, owner Brandenburg was looking at expanding his cafe or his other stores in the mall to Under My Skin and Candy And More.

“You want to have faith that the mall will have a long, beautiful future, but right now it’s hard to tell when there’s not a lot of development going on,” Brandenburg said.

Now he is putting all plans to expand his stores on hold.

“Any expansion within the mall for my stores is on hold until we can see something more promising from the mall owners,” Brandenburg said.

In a release from Premiere Cinema, Temple theater director Buffy Lara released the following statement: “The house is under new ownership, so we hope the community will support them and all the improvements they are making plan for the property.”

But the boutique owner is concerned that this closure is a preview of what’s to come.

“Maybe all of us stores should get together and sit down and see what we can do to save the mall,” Jackson said. “I don’t know at this point.”

Both Temple Mall management and Premiere Cinema did not respond to multiple calls about what led to the theater’s closure.

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