Movie theater at Bellingham mall to close after this weekend

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 22, 2014 

The showing of second-run movies at Bellis Fair will be coming to an end as the mall makes plans to bring in new tenants.

MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM - The final chance to see a movie at Bellis Fair mall is through this weekend.

The Regal Bellis Fair Cinemas 6 movie theater will have its final screenings of second-run movies on Sunday, Jan. 26. The lease is expiring on the facility and the mall's owner, General Growth Properties, has submitted building permits to renovate the space for three new retail tenants.

At 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, tours will be available if customers want to take a final look at the projection booth area, said Tom Vohs, the projectionist at the theater.

The theater currently uses the 35-mm film format, which is becoming rare in the industry as it rapidly switches to digital projection.

"It's been fun working with a dying format," Vohs said.

Ticket prices for a movie at Bellis Fair are $3.50 during the week and $4 on the weekend.

Work is expected to begin on remodeling the theater after it closes. According to a building permit application filed with the city, the theater would be split into three spaces of 10,765 square feet, 7,082 square feet and 2,527 square feet. The largest is designated as a retail store, the second a restaurant and the third a quick-service restaurant. The application did not indicate which companies would go into those spaces.

The closure of the Bellis Fair theater comes about a year after Regal opened its 16-screen theater in the Barkley district. When that opened in December 2012, Regal decided to close its Sehome and Sunset Square movie theaters.

The Bellis Fair closure leaves the city with only three movie theaters: Regal Barkley, the Pickford Film Center theater at 1318 Bay St. and the Limelight theater at 1416 Cornwall Ave.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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