Regal Cinemas’ closure in Middleburg Towne Square plaza leaves vacuum of accessible movie theaters near campus

The Regal Cinemas’ closure means closest remaining theater to Baldwin Wallace’s campus is four miles away.


Jayanti Upadhyay, The Exponent

The marquee of the closed Regal Cinemas in Middleburg Heights is now blank.

On Sept. 14, the Regal Cinemas location on Bagley Road in Middleburg Heights permanently closed its doors as its parent company, Cineworld, remains in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The closure has come as disappointing news for some students and alumni of Baldwin Wallace University, who are left with fond memories of the location and a newfound lack of access to nearby movie theaters.  

BW alumna Victoria Foster told The Exponent that while still a student, she went on her second date with her now-partner at that exact theater.  

“I was super bummed when I saw they were closing,” Foster said. “It was right before Covid hit in 2020, me and my partner went on our second ever date to go see the ‘The Invisible Man’ reboot. We had just started dating and I was super nervous. There was nobody there when we got there, so much so that you could tell it was a small-time theater, but I still really appreciated it all the same.”  

Foster recalled when students were able to buy movie tickets for a cheaper price, as well as candy, at a location called the “candy counter” in the union – which has since been replaced with offices and the help desk. She said she deeply valued getting to have these experiences at the theater with her partner.  

Due to the location’s proximity to the BW campus, as well as the candy counter discount, the Middleburg Heights Regal was an easily accessible way for students to watch the newest films. Its closure particularly affects students from out of state who have limited means of transportation, said psychology major Emily Hathcock.  

“For some people, it’s the best option they have access too, so I think in terms of accessibility, a lot of people might definitely be disappointed that it’s no longer available,” Hathcock said.  

The closest remaining theaters to campus are the Cinemark at the SouthPark Mall in Strongsville and the Regal Cinemas in the Great Northern Mall in North Olmstead, both of which are around four miles away from the BW campus.  

“It sucks because students who come in from out of state who can’t drive or pay for Ubers all the way to Strongsville, won’t be able to go to that theater,” Foster said.   

The theater on Bagley Road, which originally opened in November of 1996, like many theaters nationwide, already appeared to be nearing the end of its run in fall of 2022, Hathcock said.   

“On the surface everything looked fine, but each time I went to go see a movie with my friends, like when we went to go see ‘Spider-man: No Way Home,’ we almost always had the theater to ourselves,” Hathcock said. “But even then, it was super fun to be able to yell and shout at the screen whenever we wanted.”  

It is unclear what, if anything, will occupy the building going forward. Representatives for Carnegie Management & Development Corporation, the owner of the Middleburg Towne Square plaza, could not be reached for comment.   

Foster lamented the loss of what she viewed as a classic theater.  

“It feels like all these old theaters and places are being shut down and replaced with these new, modern experiences, that aren’t necessarily better,” Foster said.