MYRTLE BEACH -- Regal Inlet Square 12, the movie theater attached to Inlet Square mall, was set to close for good Sunday, because the mall's stalled renovation has hurt its business, a company spokesman said.
"We regret that our landlord's announced improvements to the mall have not come to fruition," said Russ Nunley, vice president of marketing and communications for Regal Entertainment Group. "Regal has terminated the lease due to the negative impact on our business from the stalled renovation project for the mall."
Inlet Square mall has been under construction since late 2007, when a $4.5 million renovation abruptly stopped.
Theater employees were notified of the closure at a meeting Jan. 3, Nunley said.
Workers at the theater and Inlet Square's mall manager declined comment.
Inlet Square staff have been offered jobs at another Regal's Swamp Fox 14 in Florence, Nunley said.
In August, Regal Cinemas Inc., which owns the Regal Inlet Square 12, was sued by Inlet Retail Associates, the former owner of Inlet Square mall, for six months of unpaid rent. The suit said the theater had failed to pay $296,744.76 in rent, fees and expenses. Nunley declined to comment on the case because it is still pending.
According to court documents, the company gave Regal Cinemas written notice concerning its failure to pay the rent and received no payment in return.
Inlet Retail Associates filed for bankruptcy protection in March and the case closed Nov. 25, according to court documents. In September, Murrells Retail Associates, an entity within the Philadelphia-based RAIT Partnership, became the owner of the Murrells Inlet mall.
Inlet Square mall entered into a lease agreement with Litchfield Theatres in February 1989, and after Litchfield Theatres and Regal Cinemas merged in 1997, Regal was named as a tenant.
Regal is the largest movie theater company in the United States. Locally, the chain owns theaters in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Summerville.