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Cinemagic closes theaters permanently, leaving more than 30 movie screens in southern Maine dark

Cinemagic didn’t say on Monday what it plans to do with the buildings that house its movie theaters in Westbrook, above, and Saco and South Portland. Photo by Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The movie business will look very different in Greater Portland when – or if – it bounces back from the pandemic, now that three popular first-run southern Maine theaters have closed for good.

Cinemagic announced the closing of all eight of its New England movie theaters Monday, including large multiscreen venues in Saco, Westbrook and South Portland. The company is the first major theater operator in Maine to announce during the pandemic that it would close permanently. Smitty’s Cinemas, a movie and restaurant chain that had five New England locations before last March, permanently closed its Biddeford location last May because of the financial impact of the coronavirus shutdown.

In a release sent to the Portland Press Herald on Monday, Cinemagic management announced with “a heavy heart” that its theaters would not reopen. The release gave no reasons for the closing and management did not respond to emails asking for more details. The chain had tried to reopen its theaters during the pandemic last summer, but with small crowds coming out and few new movies coming from Hollywood, it announced in early February it would have to close its locations until sometime in the spring.

Cinemagic’s closing leaves a huge void in Greater Portland’s movie theater landscape, as the three Cinemagic locations had more than 30 screens between them. Theaters in or near Portland that remain in business –

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