Carmike decision to not put up theater fight surprising

With the recent closing of the Carmike Royal Cinema 10, area residents can get their popcorn and big screen fix at the new Marquette Cinemas in Marquette Township.

That said, we were more than a little surprised to see the Royal 10 shut its doors so quickly following the opening of the newest addition to Thomas Theatre Group.

It seems as though the Carmike Cinema managers were unwilling to even try competing, though it would have been easier to ask them that question if someone from the Carmike organization had returned any one of our numerous phone calls.

In any case, perhaps the Carmike folks just saw the writing on the wall. After all, what they had done to Marquette theaters when they arrived in the early 1990s was exactly what was happening to them now.

According to Friday’s page 1A story, “Marquette’s Royal Cinema 10 closes its doors,” it quickly put the Marquette Mall Cinema and the Nordic and Delft theaters out of business.

The owners of all three establishments sold their operations to Rogers Cinema Inc., of Marshfield, Wis., shortly after the Royal 10 opened. Just one year later, the Marquette Mall Cinema and the Nordic closed their doors.

Then Carmike bought its only other competition in the Marquette area – the Delft Theater, and promptly closed it, letting it fall into disrepair until public outcry forced the company to maintain the Delft’s historic Washington Street facade.

We’re always sad to see a business close in the area. It’s a tough choice to make that has real impacts on the every day lives of that company’s employees and its loyal patrons.

But at the very least, area moviegoers are left with a state-of-the-art theater that has all the bells and whistles of big-city operations.