EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Towne 16 movie theater will close for good after Thursday night's showings of films including "Vice," "A Dog's Way Home" and "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," theater employees confirmed.
The closing follows news last year that owner Frank Theatres filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Filings were made between June 28 and Sept. 20 under Frank Entertainment Companies, Frank Theatres Management, Frank Investments Inc., Frank Theatres Tilton and Rio Mall.
The company, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, also owns the Frank Rio Stadium 12 in Rio Grande and Frank South Cove Stadium 12 in Bayonne.
An employee at the Middle Township theater said that location was not closing.
When Charles Nelson, 71, and his wife, Deborah Nelson, 69, drive from York, Pennsylvania, to visit Atlantic City at least three times a year, part of their trip usually involves a stop at the Towne 16.
The Nelsons stay in Atlantic City, and it is closer for them to stop by the Towne than the Regal Hamilton Commons in Mays Landing. They were at the Towne on Thursday to see "Green Book," an Academy Award nominee for best picture. They did not know the theater was closing.
"I'm sorry it happened. I hate to see any business close," Deborah Nelson said.
The Towne 16 is located behind the Harbor Square shopping plaza, formerly the Shore Mall, an area under consideration for redevelopment by the township.
Josie Hornig, 21, of Linwood, walked into the lobby with her brother Christian Hornig, 10, of Margate, to see "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" at around 7:30 p.m. She had already seen it at the Towne and was taking him because she thought he would like it. But they were unable to watch the movie, which was originally scheduled for 8:30 p.m. The last show was at 6 p.m.
Josie Hornig has been coming to the Towne since she was her brother's age.
"I always come here on Tuesdays, tightwad Tuesdays. They always accepted my student discounts," said Hornig about both her high school and college student discounts. "I'm really sad about the theater closing down because I love coming to the movies."
Last year Frank Theatres closed the Tilton 9 Theater and IMAX in Northfield, only for it to be bought by business partners Brett DeNafo, Clint Bunting and Scot Kauffman, the same group that purchased and is renovating the Ventnor Square Theatre, a property previously owned by Bruce Frank. DeNafo also is behind the Harbor Square Theatre in Stone Harbor.
DeNafo said last month he plans to have the renovated and renamed Tilton Square Theatre and IMAX open in March and the Ventnor Square Theatre open in May.
Inside the Towne's lobby, there were movie posters that were still hanging up for films that will never get to play there, including "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" and "Cold Pursuit," starring Liam Neeson, both on Feb. 8.