The movie theater at Snowden Square in Columbia, which closed July 26, reopened with a new name in August, just days after a report of its supposedly permanent closure.
The Cinemark Columbia Snowden and ScreenX opened at 9161 Commerce Center Drive, at the former Regal United Artists Snowden Square. Regal closed the Columbia location as part of its parent company’s plan in Chapter 11 bankruptcy to close 130 American theaters in 2023. Regal also closed theaters in Bowie, Rockville and Bel Air, as well as in Washington.
Though one online news report in July said that the theater would close its doors “forever,” the newly-branded Cinemark theater opened August 1. A red banner with the Cinemark name now covers the United Artists Theatres sign outside the building.
The Cinemark location offers reclining seats in every theater. On Saturday it showed films such as Oppenheimer, Barbie and Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. Vehicles were parked outside the theater. Moviegoers walked in. The scent of freshly popped and flavored popcorn hung in the air.
The theater opened in December 1997 as the United Artists Theatre with 14 screens. It became a Regal theater in 2002 as Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards Theatres consolidated.
ScreenX refers to a panoramic film format that projects additional images onto screens on the side walls of a theater. Movie makers typically use multiple cameras simultaneously to shoot live action for the format. They can also generate images using computers after shooting.
Regal is owned by London-based Cineworld Group, which closed the Columbia theater while it reorganized under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Cineworld on July 31 emerged from bankruptcy after slashing $4.53 billion in debt.
Cinemark, which is based in Plano, Texas, recently announced second quarter financial results, earning 80 cents a share, beating Wall Street estimates of 54 cents.