Demolition Began Friday to Make Way for Pharmacy
By Joshua Clark
Hampton Union, Tuesday, March 3, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Crews on Friday began the process of razing Hampton Cinema Six on Route 1. Compact excavators and workers were removing insulation and debris from the interior of the building as they prepared for this week's demolition of the theater.
Lee Danley, owner of Deeley Demolition, said the inside of the building would be gutted, and excavators will on Monday begin the four-day process of tearing the building down.
The 29-year-old theatre, located at 321 Lafayette Road, had its final showings on Feb. 15, with an "indoor yard sale" the following weekend. Patrons walked away with everything from bags of popcorn to posters and seats.
Owner John Tinios announced he was closing the six-screen theater on Lafayette Road near his Galley Hatch restaurant back in May to make room for a CVS Pharmacy and retail space.
"It was really a tough decision for my family because we enjoy the movie theater, and it's a great part of the community," he previously said.
Tinios said it was no longer economically feasible to continue to run the theater, and that he will always be grateful of all the customers over the years who preferred his theater over the big chains.
"I think people liked the personal attention they were getting from the independent versus a chain," he said. "It's going to be a sad weekend."
Tinios said the movie industry has changed, making it difficult for independent theaters like his to survive.
"It's not same industry it once was," Tinios said. "Hollywood has become very corporate. The big exhibitors and the film companies are tied together at the hip."
Movie makers have accelerated their release of new films now that other options exist, like Pay-Per-View and Netflix. Currently, the shelf-life of a blockbuster is six weeks, which makes it impossible for small theaters with a limited number of screens to make money, he said.
Tinios said another "dagger" striking at independent movie theaters is that, by 2010, all theaters will be going digital. That would have cost him between $300,000 to $400,000 per screen.
[Reporter Patrick Cronin contributed to this article.]
Photos taken by Bill Teschek on March 6, 2009: