I'm old enough to have mourned single-screen theaters and drive-in theaters, and now I'm ready to begin mourning multiplexes. Of course, just as there are still some single-screens and drive-ins in existence, the beloved box-shaped movie theaters, which we've become so accustomed to frequenting in cattle-like fashion over the last forty years, are not becoming extinct anytime soon. In fact, there are new ones popping up all over the place; they're just newer models with more "luxurious" amenities. But specific multiplexes, perhaps some we have fond memories of, are indeed disappearing.
Well, disappearing might not be the right word, since some of the actual buildings aren't going anywhere just yet. But whole cinemas are shutting down, and it's not because their companies are going out of business or because they're going to be replaced with upgrades. Last week in the Hartford Courant, there was a terrific yet melancholy article about the recent closure of the Showcase Cinemas in East Windsor, Connecticut. The reason, according to its owner, National Amusements (which owns Viacom, too), is that the location was "no longer financially viable."