Pandemic, streaming prompt theater closure
By Lisa Brody
As of Monday, February 5, the owners of The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, announced they have permanently closed the iconic movie house.
Located in the rear of the Bloomfield Plaza strip center at Maple and Telegraph roads, The Maple Theater first opened in the late 1970s as a three-screen theater showing independent films and smaller art house films. Current owners Jon and Lauren Goldstein, as Cloud Nine Theater Partners, purchased the theater 12 years ago, and sought to revitalize it by adding a cafe and a liquor license.
But streaming services and the COVID pandemic were the final death knell to this smaller movie house, which sought to remain open as a bastion from large megaplexes showing mainstream Hollywood fare.
On Monday, February 5, the Goldsteins posted on Facebook that their lease had expired, “and after months of difficult deliberations, we have decided that it is time to end our run as operators of this wonderful institution. We have been honored to be stewards of the Maple Theater and appreciate all the support and patronage from the community for the past 12 years.”
The Goldsteins purchased the theater from Landmark Theatres in 2012. Landmark had acquired the theater in 1998 from AMC Theaters, and renamed it the Maple Art Theatre. It was first opened in 1977 by Suburban Detroit Theaters as the Maple 1-2-3, according to reports.
In their Facebook post, the Goldsteins thanked everyone who “bought a ticket, ate a meal, or worked a shift...Being able to own a theater in our own community was one of the great privileges of our lives.”
Jon and Lauren Goldstein are Bloomfield Township residents.
They noted in their statement that the pandemic had huge effects on independent “art house” theaters, and they are proud they stayed open, working hard to return to near pre-pandemic attendance numbers. However, they said, they are unable to make “the financial commitment necessary to keep The Maple a first class establishment. Anything less would tarnish what we have worked so hard over these years to build.”
Gift cards and memberships can be redeemed at the Birmingham 8 Theater in downtown Birmingham through June 1, 2024.