Bronx moviegoers fume as there’s now just one theater in the entire borough: ‘Our childhood is being erased’

Cinephiles at the final film theater in the Bronx lamented the proven fact that the borough has change into a movie desert – with one native railing “our childhood is being erased.”

AMC Bay Plaza Cinema 13 turned the solely theater in the Bronx final week when Concourse Plaza Multiplex Cinemas close to Yankee Stadium shut down after three many years — a shocking flip for a borough of greater than 1.4 million folks.

And residents have been none too pleased about it.

the bronx concourse plaza multiplex closes
Bronx moviegoers are upset that there’s solely one theater left in the borough after the Concourse Plaza Multiplex in the South Bronx closed final week. Showcase Cinemas
The inside of Multiplex Cinemas
The theater closed as a result of it couldn’t safe a brand new lease settlement with the property proprietor, its father or mother firm stated. William Miller

“It’s sad that movie theaters are slowly but surely disappearing, and everything is coming on the phone,” stated Cindy Vilchez, 30, who introduced her 7-year-old daughter to theaters at The Mall at Bay Plaza to look at “IF” on Sunday.

“It’s kind of like our childhood is being erased,” she advised The Post. “I want my daughter to have a piece of my childhood with her, because the technology nowadays does not give them the childhood we went through.

“In case movie theaters do go away as she gets older, at least she experienced them,” she added. “So she can say, ‘Oh, I used to do that with my mom,’ like I did it with my mom. We just want to keep the tradition going.”

Angie Corretjer, a 36-year-old foster care employee who was seeing “Garfield” with an enormous group of associates, echoed Vilchez’s feedback — and expressed frustration at the tradition of immediacy that’s led folks away from tried-and-true, communal experiences like going to the motion pictures.

“We like the movie theaters,” Corretjer advised The Post. “We old school. We go to the movies. People want that instant gratification all the time. As soon as a movie comes out, they wanna watch it —and then they watch it at home instead of going out.”

The Concourse Plaza cinemas on East 161st Street closed May 28 after many years in the Bronx as a result of it couldn’t attain a lease settlement with the property’s landlord, based on father or mother firm National Amusements.

the bronx concourse plaza multiplex closes
Multiplex opened in 1991 and served the group for greater than 30 years. William Miller

“It has been our pleasure to serve the Bronx community with great movie-going for many years,” the Concourse, which was one of 19 spots run by theater chain Showcase Cinemas, posted on Facebook.

“We thank you for your patronage and hope you have made wonderful movie memories at our cinema.”

The closures aren’t particularly surprising in an period of streaming providers that allow would-be moviegoers keep house with their very own snacks and watch the latest movies from the consolation of their couches.

About 5% of the nation’s theaters closed between 2019 and 2022 alone, based on the National Cinema Foundation, with Queens’ quarter-century-old College Point Multiplex Cinemas dropping its last curtain just a few weeks ago.

the bronx concourse plaza multiplex closes
Now AMC Bay Plaza Cinema 13 is The Bronx’s solely film theater. R68Dtrain2500/

That doesn’t reduce the sting, nonetheless.

“This being the last movie theater makes it hard for people in the community,” Lex, a 33-year-old entrepreneur, advised The Post at AMC Bay. “There are still movies out there we like to see — but imagine if you are not from this area. It’s difficult.”

Rikesha Knight, was at AMC Bay Plaza to see “Garfield” in a non-public room that household and associates rented for her son’s 4th birthday, agreed that the borough wants an alternate spot.

“You do need the variety,” the 37-year previous advised The Post. “So they definitely need more than one movie theater in the Bronx.”

Cristal Rodriguez, who works for the metropolis’s Department of Homeless Services on 151st Street, was shocked when she came upon the different theater had closed — she usually went there for afternoon matinées earlier than she headed to work on the evening shift.

the bronx concourse plaza multiplex closes
The group has mourned the lack of the theater. William Miller

“Now they’re closing the movie theaters?” she requested, incredulously. “I have to go to my movies on Tuesdays! I went there two weeks ago. I guess that was my last movie in there. I feel sad.”

But others remained optimistic.

“Even with the Fire sticks and Netflix and all that, it doesn’t feel the same as going to see a movie,” Quinten Belts, 34, advised The Post exterior AMC Bay.

Belts, a safety employee, had come together with his pal, AMC worker Luis Alvarez, to see “Summer Camp,” which was one of the 14 motion pictures the theater was exhibiting Sunday.

The pair had grown up coming to this spot — and so they have religion it should survive.

“Movie theaters are never gonna’ lose hope,” Alvarez, 22, advised The Post, including that they’re “a thing you’re gonna’ love for the rest of your life.

“It’s the thrill of it,” he stated. “It’s gonna’ go on for many more generations.”   

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