The Cinemark Movies 10 at Woodhill will close Sept. 5. The 10-screen theater was once one of the top movie houses in Lexington. People lined up for blockbusters such as the “Star Wars” prequels.
Manager Mark Jackson confirmed that the theater will show movies on Labor Day, then it will close for good. The last movie? “Bad Moms,” which starts at 10:10 p.m.
A call to Cinemark public relations was not immediately returned. It’s unclear what will become of the employees or the 4.63-acre property, which is owned by Grand Sakwa Properties of Detroit, which owns the Woodhill Circle shopping center on East New Circle.
The closing will leave Lexington with only three first-run movie theaters: The Kentucky Theatre on Main Street, Cinemark at Fayette Mall and Regal Hamburg Pavilion Stadium 16. Nicholasville’s Movie Tavern at Brannon Crossing, just over the Fayette-Jessamine County line, also is a first-run theater, and there’s the discount Carmike 10 on Mapleleaf Drive in Lexington.
The loss of Woodhill’s 10 screens takes Lexington down to 44 movie screens. In June 2006, when the Cinemark Fayette Mall opened, the Herald-Leader reported that Lexington had more than 70 screens.
The Woodhill’s 43,000-square-foot building was built in 1995. In May 1998, it became the first theater in Lexington to get stadium seating, with rising levels of seats and more legroom.
When “The Phantom Menace,” the long-awaited prequel in the “Star Wars” trilogy, opened in 1999, Woodhill sold more than 3,000 tickets in advance, and fans camped out for a week for good seats.
In 1999, Cinemark had 26 screens in Lexington at three theaters, including the now-empty Man o’ War Movies 8 and Lexington Green Movies 8, which is now home to Mellow Mushroom pizza and other retail businesses.