Hippodrome is closing
The closing credits are rolling again for the Charleston peninsula’s only movie theater.
Two years after changing hands, the Hippodrome on Concord Street is shutting down.
Owned by Charleston attorney Akim Anastopoulo, the 426-seat former IMAX complex was in the process of closing Thursday, he said.
He would not specify the theater’s last day.
“We are in the process of closing,” he said.
Anastopoulo said he wants to focus his attention on his law practice.
Housed in an 18,000-square-foot space next to the S.C. Aquarium, the theater changed names in 2011 from Terrace Hippodrome to Hippodrome Widescreen Cinema and Performing Arts Center.
Anastopoulo said he hopes to find a buyer for the waterfront theater and events venue.
“It takes an owner who is going to be on site and be there all the time, and I just don’t have time to do that,” he said.
The theater is part of Aquarium Wharf, a former power plant that Charleston-based Rivers Enterprises Inc. redeveloped into retail and offices about 12 years ago.
The theater was opened by an IMAX operator in July 2000, but that company quickly ran into financial problems and lost its lease after just a few months. The landlord decided to keep the business going, but it pulled the plug on the specialty IMAX big-screen format in September 2007.
In spring 2009, the then-owners of The Terrace Theater on James Island reopened the space as a mainstream first-run movie house under the Terrace Hippodrome name.
Anastopoulo and film production company owner Lonnie Knight bought the business in January 2011 with the hopes of transforming the Hippodrome into a multipurpose venue.
The Drome LLC is the operator. Anastopoulo said he is the principal and owner and that Knight is no longer involved.
A representative for Rivers Enterprises could not be reached for comment Thursday.
John McDermott of The Post and Courier contributed to this report. Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.